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* • • 


The three musketeers 

Alexandre Dumas 


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Digitized by 





Alexandre dumas 






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Uniformly printed in crown 8vo., with Illustrations. 







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In which it is proved that, notwithstanding their Names in Os and ff, the Heroes of the 
History which we are about to have the honour to relate to our Readers nave nothing 
Mythological about them. 

A SHORT time ago, whilst making researches in the " Bibliotheque. 
Koyal," for my History of Louis XIV., I stumbled by chance upon the 
" Memoirs of Monsieur d'Artagnan," printed— as were most of the 
works of that period, in which authors could not tell the truth without 
the risk of a residence, long or short, in the BastiUe,— at Amsterdam, 
by Pierre Rouge. The title struck me ; I took them home with me, 
not without the permission of the cotiservateur though, and devoured 

It is not my intention here to enter into an analysis of this curious 
work ; I shall satisfy myself with referring such of my readers as 
appreciate the pictures of the period to its pages. They will therein 
find portraits pencilled by the hand of a master ; and, although these 
sketches may be, for the most part, traced upon the doors of barracks 
and the walls of cabarets, they will not find the likenesses of Louis XI II., 
Anne of Austria, Richelieu, Mazarin, and the courtiers of the period, 
less faithful than in the history of M. Anquetil. 

But, as it is well known, that which strikes the capricious mind of 
the poet is not always that which affects the mass of his readers. 
Now, whilst admiring, as others doubtless will admire, the curious 
details we have to relate, the thing which attracted our attention most 
strongly is a thing to which no one before ourselves had given a 

D'Artagnan relates, that on his first visit to M. de TreVille, captain 
of the king's musketeers, he met in his antechamber three young men, 
serving in the illustrious corps into which he was soliciting the honour 
of being received, bearing the names of Athos, Porthos, and Arainis. 

We must confess these three foreign names appeared strange, and it 
immediately occurred to us that they were but pseudo-names under 
which D'Artagnan had disguised names, probably illustrious, or else 
that the bearers of these borrowed names had themselves chosen them 
on the day in which, from caprice, discontent, or want of fortune, they 
had donned the simple musketeer's uniform. 

From that moment we had no rest till we had searched all the 
contemporary works within our reach for some trace of these extra- 
ordinary names, which had so strongly awakened our curiosity. 


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The catalogue alone of the books we read with this object would fill 
a whole chapter, which, although it might be very instructive, would 
certainly afford our readers but little amusement. It will suffice, then, 
to tell them, that at the moment at which, discouraged by so many 
fruitless investigations, we were about to abandon our search, we at 
length found, guided by the counsels of our illustrious friend Paulin 
Paris, a manuscript in folio, endorsed 4,772 or 4,773, we don't recollect 
which, having for title, " Memoir of M. le Comte de la Fere, touching 
some Events which passed in France towards the End of the Reign of 
King Louis XIII. and the Commencement of the Reign of King 
Louis XIV." 

It may be easily imagined how great our joy was, when, in turning 
over this manuscript, absolutely our last hope, we found at the twentieth 
page the name of Athos, at the twenty- seventh the name of Porthos, 
and at the thirty-first the name of Aramis. 

The discovery of a completely unknown manuscript at a period in 
which historical science is carried to such a high degree, appeared 
almost miraculous. We hastened, therefore, to obtain permission to 
print it, with the view of presenting ourselves some day with the pack 
of others at the doors of the Acade*mie des Inscriptions et Belles 
Lettres, if we should not succeed— a very probable thing, by-the-by — 
in gaining admission to the Acade"mie Frangaise with our own proper 
pack. This permission, we feel bound to say, was graciously granted ; 
which compels us here to give a public contradiction to the slanderers 
who pretend that we live under a government but moderately indulgent 
to men of letters. 

Now, this is the first part of this precious manuscript which we offer 
to our readers, restoring to it the title which belongs to it, and entering 
into an engagement, that if, of which we entertain no doubt, this first 
part should obtain the success it merits, to publish the second incon- 

In the meanwhile, as the godfather is a second father, we beg the 
reader to lay to our account, and not to that of the Count de la Fere, 
the pleasure or the ennui he may experience. 

This being understood, let us proceed with our history. 


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XIX. PLAN OF THE CAMPAIGN - - * - - - - 145 


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XX. THE JOURNEY - - - - * - - - 151 






XXVI. ARAMIS'S THESIS - - - * - - -201 




xxx. d'artagnan and the englishman - * - 245 


XXXII. A PROCUREUR'S DINNER - - - - • • * 256 






XXXVII. MILADY'S SECRET - - - - - - - 288 



XXX.1X. A VISION - 300 






XLV. A CONJUGAL SCENE ------- 339 









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LVIII. ESCAPE - - - - 428 


AUGUST, 1628 • 434 











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On the first Monday of the month of April, 1625, the bourg of Meung, 
in which the author of the " Romance of the Rose " was born, appeared 
to be in as perfect a state of revolution as if the Huguenots nad just 
made a second Rochelle of it. Many citizens, seeing the women flying 
towards the High Street, leaving their children crying at the open 
doors, hastened to don the cuirass, and, supporting their somewhat un- 
certain courage with a musket or a partizan, directed their steps towards 
the hostelry of the Franc- Meunier, before which was gathered, increasing 
every minute, a compact group, vociferous and full of curiosity. 

In those times panics were common, and few days passed without 
some city or other enregistering in its archives an event of this kind. 
There were nobles who made war against each other ; there was the 
king, who made war against the cardinal ; there was Spain, which made 
war against the king. Then, in addition to these, concealed or public, 
secret or patent wars, there were, moreover, robbers, mendicants, 
Huguenots, wolves, and scoundrels who made war upon everybody. 
The citizens always took up arms readily against thieves, wolves, or 
scoundrels — often against nobles or Huguenots — sometimes against the 
king — but never against the cardinal or Spain. It resulted, then, from 
this habit, that on the said first Monday of the month of April, 1625, 
the citizens, on hearing the clamour, and seeing neither the red and 
yellow standard, nor the livery of the Duke de Richelieu, rushed to- 
wards the hostel of the Franc- Meunier. 
When arrived there, the cause of this hubbub was apparent to all. 
A young man — we can sketch his portrait at a dash — imagine to 
yourself a Don Quixote of eighteen ; a Don Quixote without his corse- 
let, without his coat of mail, without his cuistres ; a Don Quixote 
clothed in a woollen doublet, the blue colour of which had faded into a 
nameless shade between lees of wine and a heavenly azure ; face long 
and brown ; high cheek-bones, a sign of astucity ; the maxillary muscles 
enormously developed, an infallible sign by which a Gascon may always 
be detected, even without his barret-cap— and our young man wore a 
barret-cap, set off with a sort of feather ; the eye open and intelligent ; 
the nose hooked, but finely chiselled. Too big for a youth, too small 
for a grown man, an experienced eye might have taken him for a 



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fanner's son upon a journey, had it not been for the long sword, which, 
dangling from a leathern baldrick, hit against the calves of its owner 
as he walked, and against the rough side of his steed when he was on 

For our young man had a steed, which was the observed of all ob- 
servers. It was a Be*arn pony, from twelve to fourteen years old, yellow 
in his hide, without a hair in his tail, but not without wind-galls on his 
legs, which, though going with his head lower than his knees, render- 
ing a martingale quite unnecessary, contrived, nevertheless, to perform 
his eight leagues a day. Unfortunately, the qualities of this horse were 
so well concealed under his strange-coloured hide and his unaccountable 
gait, that at a time when everybody was a connoisseur in horseflesh, 
the appearance of the said pony at Meung, which place he had entered 
about a quarter of an hour before, by the gate of Beaugency, produced 
an unfavourable feeling, which extended to his master. 

And this feeling had been the more painfully perceived by young 
D'Artagnan — for so was the Don Quixote of this second Rosinante 
named— from his not being able to conceal from himself the ridiculous 
appearance that such a steed gave him, good horseman as he was. He 
had sighed deeply, therefore, when accepting the gift of the pony from 
M. d'Artagnan the elder. He was not ignorant that such a beast was 
worth at least twenty livres ; and the words which accompanied the 
present were above all price. 

" My son," said the old Gascon gentleman, in that pure Beam patois 
of which Henry IV. could never get rid — " my son, this horse was born 
in the house of your father, about thirteen years ago, and has remained 
in it ever since, which ought to make you love it Never sell it — allow 
it to die tranquilly and honourably of old age ; and if you make a cam- 
paign with it, take as much care of it as you would of an old servant. 
At court, provided you have ever the honour to go there," continued 
M. d'Artagnan the elder, " an honour to which, remember, your ancient 
nobility gives you right, sustain worthily your name of gentleman, 
which has been worthily borne by your ancestors during fi\^ hundred 
years, both for your own sake and that of those that belong to you. 
By these I mean your relations and friends. Endure nothing from any 
one but M. le Cardinal and the king. It is by his courage, please to 
observe, by his courage alone, that a gentleman can make his way 
nowadays. Whoever trembles for a second perhaps allows the bait to 
escape, which, during that exact second, fortune held out to him. You 
are young ; you ought to be brave for two reasons — the first is that 
you are a Gascon, and the second is that you are my son. Never fear 
quarrels, but seek hazardous adventures. I have taught you how to 
handle a sword ; you have thews of iron, a wrist of steel : fight on all 
occasions ; fight the more for duels being forbidden, since, conse- 
quently, there is twice as much courage in fighting. I have nothing to 
five you, my son, but fifteen crowns, my horse, and the counsels you 
ave just heard. Your mother will add to them a receipt for a certain 
balsam, which she had from a Bohemian, and which has the miraculous 


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virtue of curing all wounds that do not reach the heart. Take advan- 
tage of all, and live happily and long. I have but one word to add, 
and that is to propose an example to you — not mine, for I myself have 
never appeared at court, and have only taken part in religious wars as 
a volunteer ; I speak of M. de Trdville, who was formerly my neigh- 
bour, and who had the honour to be as a child the playfellow of our 
king, Louis XIII., whom God preserve! Sometimes their play de- 
generated into battles, and in these battles the king was not always the 
stronger. The blows which he received from him gave him a great 
esteem and friendship for M. de Treville. Afterwards, M. de Trdville 
fought with others : in his first journey to Paris, five times ; from the 
death of the late king to the majority of the young one, without reckon- 
ing wars and sieges, seven times ; and from that majority up to the 
present day, a hundred times perhaps ! So that in spite of edicts, 
ordinances, and decrees, there he is captain of the musketeers — that is 
to say, leader of a legion of Caesars, whom the king holds in great 
esteem, and whom the cardinal dreads — he who dreads nothing, as it is 
said. Still further, M. de Treville gains ten thousand crowns a year ; 
he is, therefore, a great noble. He began as you begin ; go to him 
with this letter, and make him your model, in order that you may do 
as he has done." 

Upon which M. d'Artagnan the elder girded his own sword round 
his son, kissed him tenderly on both cheeks, and gave him his bene- 

On leaving the paternal chamber, the young man found his mother, 
who was waiting for him with the famous recipe, of which the counsels 
we have just repeated would necessitate the so frequent employment. The 
adieux were on this side longer and more tender than they had been 
on the other ; not that M. d'Artagnan did not love his son, who was 
his only offspring, but M. d'Artagnan was a man, and he would have 
considered it unworthy of a man to give way to his feelings ; whereas 
Madame d'Artagnan was a woman, and, still more, a mother. She 
wept abundantly, and, let us speak it to the praise of M. d'Artagnan 
the younger, notwithstanding the efforts he made to be as firm as a 
future musketeer ought to be, nature prevailed, and he shed many 
tears, of which he succeeded with great difficulty in concealing the 

The same day the young man set forward on his journey, furnished 
with the three paternal presents, which consisted, as we have said, of 
fifteen crowns, the horse, and the letter for M. de Treville, the counsels 
being thrown into the bargain. 

With such a vade memm D'Artagnan was, morally and physically, an 
exact copy of the hero of Cervantes, to whom we so happily compared 
him, when our duty of an historian placed us under the necessity of 
sketching his portrait Don Quixote took windmills for giants, and 
sheep for armies ; D'Artagnan took every smile for an insult, and every 
look as a provocation ; whence it resulted that from Tarbes to Meung 
his fist was constantly doubled, or his hand on the hilt of his sword ; 

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and yet the fist did not descend upon any jaw, nor did the sword issue 
from its scabbard. It was not that the sight of the wretched pony did 
not excite numerous smiles on the countenances of passers-by ; but as 
against the side of this pony rattled a sword of respectable length, and 
as over this sword gleamed an eye rather ferocious than haughty, these 
said passers-by repressed their hilarity, or, if hilarity prevailed over 
prudence, they endeavoured to laugh only on one side, like the masks of 
the ancients. D'Artagnan, then, remained majestic and intact in his 
susceptibility till he came to this unlucky city of Meung. 

But there, as he was alighting from his horse at the gate of the 
Franc-Meunier, without any one, host, waiter, or ostler, coming to hold 
his stirrup or take his horse, D\Artagnan spied, through an open window 
on the ground-floor, a gentleman well made and of good carriage, al- 
though of rather a stern countenance, talking with two persons who 
appeared to listen to him with respect D'Artagnan fancied quite 
naturally, according to his custom, that he must be the object of their 
conversation, and listened. This time D'Artagnan was only in part 
mistaken : he himself was not in question, but his horse was. The 
gentleman appeared to be enumerating all his qualities to his auditors, 
and, as I have said, the auditors seeming to have great deference for 
the narrator, they every moment burst into fits 01 laughter. Now, as 
a half smile was sufficient to awaken the irascibility of the young man, 
the effect produced upon him by this vociferous mirth may be easily 

Nevertheless, D'Artagnan was desirous of examining the appearance 
of this impertinent personage who was laughing at him. He fixed his 
haughty eye upon the stranger, and perceived a man of from forty to 
forty-five years of age, with black and piercing eyes, a pale complexion, 
a strongly-marked nose, and a black and well-shaped moustache. He 
was dressed in a doublet and hose of a violet colour, with aiguillettes 
of the same, without any other ornaments than the customary slashes 
through which the shirt appeared. This doublet and hose, though new, 
looked creased like travelling clothes for a long time packed up in a 
portmanteau. D'Artagnan made all these remarks with the rapidity of 
a most minute observer, and, doubtless, from an instinctive feeling 
that this unknown was destined to have a great influence over his 
future life. 

Now, as at the moment in which D'Artagnan fixed his eyes upon the 
gentleman in the violet doublet, the gentleman made one of his most 
knowing and profound remarks respecting the Bearnese pony, his two 
auditors laughed even louder than oefore, and he himself, though con- 
trary to his custom, allowed a pale smile (if I may be allowed to use 
such an expression) to stray over his countenance. This time there 
could be no doubt, D'Artagnan was really insulted. Full, then, of 
this conviction, he pulled his cap down over his eyes, and, endeavour- 
ing to copy some of the court airs he had picked up in Gascony among 
young travelling nobles, he advanced, with one hand on the hilt of his 
sword and the other leaning on his hip. Unfortunately, as he advanced. 


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his anger increased at every step, and, instead of the proper and lofty 
speech he had prepared as a prelude to his challenge, he found nothing 
at the tip of his tongue but a gross personality, which he accompanied 
with a furious gesture. 

" I say, sir, you, sir, who are hiding yourself behind that shutter ! — 
yes, you, sir, tell me what you are laughing at, and we will laugh to- 

The gentleman withdrew his eyes slowly from the nag to his master, 
as if he required some time to ascertain whether it could be to him that 
such strange reproaches were addressed ; then, when he could not pos- 
sibly entertain any doubt of the matter, his eyebrows slightly bent, and, 
with an accent of irony and insolence impossible to be described, replied 
to D'Artagnan : 

" I was not speaking to you, sir !" 

" But I am sneaking to you !" replied the young man, additionally 
exasperated with this mixture of insolence and good manners, of polite- 
ness and scorn. 

The unknown looked at him again with a slight smile, and, retiring 
from the window, came out of the hostelry with a slow step, and placed 
himself before the horse within two paces of D'Artagnan. His quiet 
manner and the ironical expression of his countenance redoubled the 
mirth of the persons with whom he had been talking, and who still re- 
mained at the window. 

D'Artagnan, seeing him approach, drew his sword a foot out of the 

" This horse is decidedly, or rather has been in his youth, a bout on 
(Por n (buttercup), resumed the unknown, continuing the remarks he 
had begun, and addressing himself to his auditors at the window, with- 
out paying the least attention to the exasperation of D'Artagnan, who, 
however, placed himself between him and them. " It is a colour very 
well known in botany, but till the present time very rare among 

" There are people who laugh at a horse that would not dare to laugh 
at the master of it," cried the young emulator of the furious TreVille. 

" I do not often lau^h, sir," replied the unknown, "as you may per- 
ceive by the air of my countenance ; but, nevertheless, I retain the 
privilege of laughing when I please." 

" And I," cried D'Artagnan, " will allow no man to laugh when it dis- 
pleases me !" 

" Indeed, sir," continued the unknown, more calm than ever,— 
" Well ! that is perfectly right i" and, turning on his heel, was about to 
re-enter the hostelry by the front gate, under which D'Artagnan, on 
arriving, had observed a saddled horse. 

But D'Artagnan was not of a character to allow a man to escape him 
thus, who had had the insolence to laugh at him. He drew his sword 
entirely from the scabbard, and followed him, crying : 

"Turn, turn, Master Joker, lest I strike you behind !" 

" Strike me !" said the other, turning sharply round and surveying 


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the young man with as much astonishment as contempt " Why, my 
good fellow, you must be mad !" Then, in a suppressed tone, as if 
speaking to himself : — " This is annoying," continued he. " What a 
God-send this would be for his Majesty, who is seeking everywhere for 
brave fellows to recruit his musketeers !" 

He had scarcely finished, when D'Artagnan made such a furious 
lunge at him, that if he had not sprung nimbly backward, he would 
have jested for the last time. The unknown then, perceiving that the 
matter was beyond a joke, drew his sword, saluted his adversary, and 
placed himself on his guard. But at the same moment his two auditors, 
accompanied by the host, fell upon D'Artagnan with sticks, shovels, and 
tongs. This caused so rapid and complete a diversion to the attack, 
that D , Artagnan , s adversary, whilst the latter turned round to face this 
shower of blows, sheathed his sword with the same precision, and from 
an actor, which he had nearly been, became a spectator of the fight, a 
part in which he acquitted himself with his usual impassibility, mutter- 
ing, nevertheless : 

"A plague upon these Gascons ! Put him on his orange horse 
again, and let him begone !" 

" Not before I have killed you, poltroon !" cried D'Artagnan, making 
the best face possible, and never giving back one step before his three 
assailants, who continued to shower their blows upon him. 

" Another gasconade !" murmured the gentleman. " By my honour, 
these Gascons are incorrigible ! Keep up the dance, then, since he 
will have it so. When he is tired, he will, perhaps, tell us that he has 
enough of it." 

But the unknown was not acquainted with the headstrong personage 
he had to do with ; D'Artagnan was not the man ever to cry for quarter. 
The fight was, therefore, prolonged for some seconds ; but at length 
D'Artagnan's sword was struck from his hand by the blow of a stick, 
and broken in two pieces. Another blow full upon his forehead, at the 
same moment, brought him to the ground, covered with blood and 
almost fainting. 

It was at this period that people came flocking to the scene of action 
from all parts. The host, fearful of consequences, with the help of his 
servants, carried the wounded man into the kitchen, where some 
trifling attention was bestowed upon him. 

As to the gentleman, he resumed his place at the window, and sur- 
veyed the crowd with a certain air of impatience, evidently annoyed by 
their remaining undispersed. 

" Well, how is it with this madman ?" exclaimed he, turning round as 
the opening door announced the entrance of the host, who came to in- 
quire if he was unhurt 

" Your excellency is safe and sound 7° asked the host 

" Oh, yes ! perfectly safe and sound, my good host, and wish to know 
what is become of our young man." 

" He is better," said the host ; " he fainted quite away." 

" Indeed !" said the gentleman. 


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" But before he fainted, he collected all his strength to challenge 
you, and to defy you whilst challenging you." 

" Why, this fellow must be the devil in person !" cried the unknown. 

" Oh, no, your excellency !" replied the host with a grin of contempt ; 
" he is not the devil, for during his fainting we rummaged his valise, 
and found nothing but a clean shirt and twelve crowns, which, however, 
did not prevent his saying, as he was fainting, that if such a thine had 
happened in Paris you should have instantly repented of it, whilst here 
you would only have cause to repent of it at a later period." 

" Then," said the unknown, coldly, " he must be some prince in dis- 

" I have told you this, good sir," resumed the host, " in order that 
you may be on your guard." 

" Did he name no one in his passion ?" 

" Yes ! he struck his pocket and said : — ' We shall see what M. de 
TreVille will think of this insult offered to his prottgi? " 

" M. de TreVille ?" said the unknown, becoming attentive : "he put 
his hand upon his pocket whilst pronouncing the name of M. de Tre*- 
ville ? Now, my dear host ! whilst your young man was insensible, you did 
not fail, I am quite sure, to ascertain what that pocket contained. 
What was there in it ?" 

" A letter addressed to M. de Treville, captain of the musketeers." 

" Indeed !" 

" Exactly as I have the honour to tell your excellency." 

The host, who was not endowed with great perspicacity, did not ob- 
serve the expression which his words had given to the physiognomy of 
the unknown. The latter rose from the front of the window, upon the 
sill of which he had leaned with his elbow, and knitted his brows like a 
man suddenly rendered uneasy. 

" The devil !" murmured he, between his teeth. " Can Treville have 
set this Gascon upon me ? He is very young ; but a sword-thrust is a 
sword-thrust, whatever be the age of him who gives it, and a youth is 
less to be suspected than an older man ; a weak obstacle is sometimes 
sufficient to overthrow a great design." 

And the unknown fell into a reverie which lasted some minutes. 

" Host," said he, " could you not contrive to get rid of this frantic 
boy for me ? In conscience, I cannot kill him ; and yet," added he, with 
a coldly menacing expression, " and yet he annoys me. Where is 

" In my wife's chamber, where they are dressing his hurts, on the 
first floor." 

" His things and his bag are with him ? Has he taken off his 
doublet ?" 

" On the contrary, everything is in the kitchen. But if he annoys 
you, this young crazy fool " 

u To be sure he does. He causes a disturbance in your hostelry, 
which respectable people cannot put up with. Go, make out my bill* 
and call my servant." 


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" What, sir ! do you mean to leave us already ?" 

" You know I was going, as I ordered you to get my horse saddled. 
Has not my desire been complied with ?" 

" Yes, sir ; and as your excellency may have observed, your horse 
is in the great gateway, ready saddled for your departure." 

" That is well ; do as I have directed you then." 

" What the devil !" said the host to himself, " can he be afraid of 
this boy ?" But an imperious glance from the unknown stopped him 
short, he bowed humbly, and retired. 

" Milady* must see nothing of this fellow," continued the stranger. 
" She will soon pass — she is already late. I had better get on horse- 
back, and go and meet her. I should like, however, to know what this 
letter addressed to TreViile contains !" 

And the unknown, muttering to himself, directed his steps towards 
the kitchen. 

In the meantime, the host, who entertained no doubt that it was the 
presence of the young man that drove the unknown from his hostelry, 
reascended to his wife's chamber, and found D'Artagnan just recovering 
his senses. Giving him to understand that the police would deal with 
him pretty severely for having sought a quarrel with a great lord, for, 
in the opinion of the host, the unknown could be nothing less than a 
great lord, he insisted that, notwithstanding his weakness, he should 
get up and depart as quickly as possible. D'Artagnan, half stupefied, 
without his doublet, and with his head bound up in a linen cloth, arose 
then, and, urged forward by the host, began to descend the stairs ; but 
on arriving at the kitchen, the first thing he saw was his antagonist, 
talking calmly, at the step of a heavy carriage, drawn by two large 
Norman horses. 

His interlocutor, whose head appeared through the carriage window, 
was a woman of from twenty to two-and-twenty years of age. We have 
already observed with what rapidity D'Artagnan seized the expression 
of a countenance : he perceived then, at a glance, that this woman 
was young and beautiful ; and her style of beauty struck him the 
more forcibly, from its being totally different from that of the southern 
countries in which D'Artagnan had hitherto resided. She was pale and 
fair, with long curls falling in profusion over her shoulders ; had large 
blue, languishing eyes, rosy lips, and hands of alabaster. She was 
talking with great animation with the unknown. 

" His eminence, then, orders me " said the lady. 

" To return instantly to England, and to inform him immediately 
the duke leaves London." 

" And my other instructions ?" asked the fair traveller. 

" They are contained in this box, which you will not open until you 
are on the other side of the Channel." 

" Very well ; and you, what are you going to do ?" 

* We are well aware that this term "milady "is only properly used when followed by a 
family name. But we find it thus in the manuscript, and we do not choose to take upon our 
selves to alter it. r 


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" I, oh ! I shall return to Paris." 

" What, without chastising this insolent boy ?" asked the lady. 

The unknown was about to reply, but at the moment he opened his 
mouth, D'Artagnan, who had heard all, rushed forward through the 
open door. 

" This insolent boy chastises others," cried he, " and I have good 
hope that he whom he means to chastise will not escape him as he did 

" WiH not escape him ?" replied the unknown, knitting his brow. 

" No, before a woman, you would not dare to fly, I presume ?" 

" Remember," said milady, seeing the unknown lay nis hand on his 
sword, " remember that the least delay may ruin everything." 

" True," cried the gentleman ; " begone then, on your part, and I will 
depart as quickly on mine." And bowing to the lady, ne sprang into 
his saddle, her coachman at the same time applying his whip vigo- 
rously to his horses. The two interlocutors thus separated, taking 
opposite directions, at full gallop. 

" Your reckoning ! your reckoning !" vociferated the host, whose 
respect for the traveller was changed into profound contempt, on seeing 
him depart without settling his bill. 

" Pay him, booby !" cried the unknown to his servant, without check- 
ing the speed of his horse ; and the man, after throwing two or three 
pieces of silver at the foot of mine host, galloped after his master. 

" Base coward ! false gentleman !" cried D'Artagnan, springing for- 
ward, in his turn, after the servant. But his wound had rendered him 
too weak to support such an exertion. Scarcely had he gone ten steps 
when his ears began to tingle, a faintness seized him, a cloud of blood 
passed over his eyes, and he fell in the middle of the street, crying still : 

" Coward ! coward ! coward !" 

"He is a coward indeed," grumbled the host, drawing near to 
D'Artagnan, and endeavouring by this little flattery to make up matters 
with the young man, as the heron of the fable did with the snail he had 
despised the evening before. 

" Yes, a base coward," murmured D'Artagnan, " but she, she was 
very beautiful" 

" What she ?" demanded the host. 

" Milady," faltered D'Artagnan, and fainted a second time. 

"Ah ! it's all one," said the host ; " I have lost two customers, but this 
one remains, of whom I am pretty certain for some days to come ; and 
that will be eleven crowns gained, at all events." 

We must remember that eleven crowns was just the amount that 
was left in D'Artagnan's purse. 

The host had reckoned upon eleven days of confinement at a crown 
a day, but he had reckoned without his guest. On the following morn- 
ing, at five o'clock, D'Artagnan arose, and descending to the kitchen, 
without help, asked, among other ingredients the list of which has not 
come down to us, for some oil, some wine, and some rosemary, and 
with his mother's receipt in his hand, composed a balsam, with which 


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he anointed his numerous wounds, replacing his bandages himself and 
positively refusing the assistance of any doctor. Thanks, no doubt, to 
the efficacy of the Bohemian balsam ; and perhaps also, thanks to the 
absence of any doctor, D'Artagnan walked about that same evening, 
and was almost cured by the morrow. 

But when the time came to pay for this rosemary, this oil, and the 
wine, the only expense the master had incurred, as he had preserved a 
strict abstinence ; whilst, on the contrary, the yellow horse, by the 
account of the hostler, at least, had eaten three times as much as a horse 
of his size could reasonably be supposed to have done, D'Artagnan 
found nothing in his pocket but his little old velvet purse with the 
eleven crowns it contained : as to the letter addressed to M. de Treville, 
it had disappeared. 

The young man commenced his search for the letter with the greatest 
patience, turning out his pockets of all kinds over and over again, rum- 
maging and re-rummaging in his valise, and opening and re-opening 
his purse ; but when he had come to the conviction that the letter was 
not to be found, he flew, for the third time, into such a rage as was near 
costing him a fresh consumption of wine, oil, and rosemary ; for upon 
seeing this hot-headed youth become exasperated and threaten to de- 
stroy every thing in the establishment if his letter were not found, the 
host seized a spit, his wife a broom-handle, and the servants the same 
sticks they had used the day before. 

" My letter of recommendation \ n cried D'Artagnan, " my letter of 
recommendation ! or, by God's blood, I will spit you all like so many 
ortolans !" 

Unfortunately there was one circumstance which created a powerful 
obstacle to the accomplishment of this threat ; which was, as we have 
related, that his sword had been in his first conflict broken in two, and 
which ne had perfectly forgotten. Hence it resulted, that when D'Ar- 
tagnan proceeded to draw his sword in earnest, he found himself purely 
and simply armed with a stump of a sword of about eight or ten inches 
in length, which the host had carefully placed in the scabbard. As to 
the rest of the blade, the master had slily put that on one side to make 
himself a larding pin. 

But this deception would probably not have stopped our fiery young 
man if the host had not reflected that the reclamation which his guest 
made was perfectly just. 

" But after all," said he, lowering the point of his spit, " where is this 
letter r 

" Yes, where is this letter ?" cried D'Artagnan. " In the first place, I 
warn you that that letter is for M. de TreVille, and it must be found ; 
if it be not quickly found, he will know how to cause it to be found, HI 
answer for it !" 

This threat completed the intimidation of the host After the king 
and the cardinal, M. de Treville was the man whose name was perhaps 
most frequently repeated by the military, and even by citizens. There 
was, to be sure, Father Joseph, but his name was never pronounced but 


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with a subdued voice, such was the terror inspired by his Gray Emi- 
nence, as the cardinal's familiar was called. 

Throwing down his spit then, and ordering his wife to do the same 
with her broom-handle, and the servants with their sticks, he set the 
first example of commencing an earnest search for the lost letter. 

" Does the letter contain anything valuable ?' demanded the host, 
after a few minutes of useless investigation. 

" Zounds ! I think it does, indeed," cried the Gascon, who reckoned 
upon this letter for making his way at court ; " it contained my 
fortune !" 

" Bills upon Spain ?" asked the disturbed host. ■ 

" Bills upon his majesty's private treasury," answered D'Artagnan, 
who, reckoning upon entering into the king's service in consequence of 
this recommendation, thought he could make this somewhat hazardous 
reply without telling a falsehood. 

" The devil !" cried the host, at his wit's end. 

" But it's of no importance," continued D'Artagnan, with national 
assurance ; " it's of no importance, the money is nothing, — that letter 
was everything ; I would rather have lost a thousand pistoles than have 
lost it." — He would not have risked more if he had said twenty thousand ; 
but a certain juvenile modesty restrained him. 

A ray of light all at once broke upon the mind of the host, as he was 
giving himself to the devil upon finding nothing. 

" That letter is not lost !" cried he. 

"What !" said D'Artagnan. 

" No ; it has been stolen from you." 

"Stolen! by whom?" 

" By the gentleman who was here yesterday. He came down into 
the kitchen, where your doublet was. He remained there some time 
alone. I would lay a wager he has stolen it." 

" Do you think so ?" answered D'Artagnan, but little convinced, as he 
knew better than any one else how entirely personal the value of this 
letter was, and saw nothing in it likely to tempt the cupidity of any one. 
The fact was that none of the servants, none of the travellers present, 
could have gained anything by being possessed of this paper. 

" Do you say !" resumed D'Artagnan, " that you suspect that imperti- 
nent gentleman ?" 

" I tell you I am sure of it," continued the host ; " when I informed 
him that your lordship was the protdgd of M. de TreVille, and that you 
even had a letter for that illustrious gentleman, he appeared to be 
very much disturbed, and asked me where that letter was, and im- 
mediately came down into the kitchen, where he knew your doublet 

" Then that's the man that has robbed me," replied D'Artagnan : " I 
will complain to M. de Treville, and M. de TreVille will complain to 
the king." He then drew two crowns majestically from his purse, gave 
them to the host, who accompanied him cap in hand to the gate, re- 
mounted his yellow horse, which bore him without any further accident 


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to the gate of St Antoine at Paris, where his owner sold him for three 
crowns, which was a very good price, considering that D'Artagnan had 
ridden him hard from Meung. Thus the dealer to whom D'Artagnan 
sold him for the said nine livres did not conceal from the young man, 
that he only gave that enormous sum for him on account of the origi- 
nality of his colour. 

Thus D'Artagnan entered Paris on foot, carrying his little packet 
under his arm, and walked about till he found an apartment to be let 
on terms suited to the scantiness of his means. This chamber was a 
sort of garret, situated in the Rue des Fossoyeurs, near the Luxem- 

As soon as the earnest-penny was paid, D'Artagnan took possession 
of his lodging, and passed the remainder of the day in sewing on to his 
doublet and hose some ornamental braiding which his mother had 
taken off from an almost new doublet of M. d'Artagnan's the elder, 
and which she had given to him secretly ; next he went to the Quai de 
Ferraille, to have a new blade, put to his sword, and then returned 
towards the Louvre, inquiring of the first musketeer he met with for 
the situation of the hotel of M. de TreVille, which proved to be in the 
Rue du Vieux-Colombier, in the immediate vicinity of the chamber 
hired by D'Artagnan ; a circumstance which appeared to furnish a 
happy augury for the success of his journey. 

After which, satisfied with the way in which he had conducted him- 
self at Meung, without remorse for the past, confident in the present, 
and full of hope for the future, he retired to bed, and slept the sleep of 
the brave. 

This sleep, provincial as it was, brought him to nine o'clock in the 
morning, at which hour he rose in order to repair to the residence of 
M. de TreVille, the third personage in the kingdom in paternal esti- 



M. DE Troisville, as his family was still called in Gascony, or M. de 
TreVille, as he has ended by styling himself in Paris, had really com- 
menced life as D'Artagnan now did, that is to say, without a sou in his 
pocket, but with a fund of courage, shrewdness, and intelligence, that 
makes the poorest Gascon gentleman often derive more in his hope 
from the paternal inheritance than the richest Pengordian or Berri- 
chan gentleman derives in reality from his. His insolent bravery, 
his still more insolent success at a time when blows poured down 
like hail, had borne him to the top of that ladder called court favour, 
which he had climbed four steps at a time. 

He was the friend of the king, who honoured highly, as every one 
krtows, the memory of his father, Henry IV. The father of M. de Tre- 
ville had served him so faithfully in his wars against the League, that 
for want of money — a thing to which the Be*arnais was accustomed all 


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his life, and who constantly paid his debts with that of which he never 
stood in need of borrowing, that is to say, with ready wit, — for want of 
money, we repeat, he authorised him, after the reduction of Paris, to 
assume for his arms a golden lion passant upon gules, with the 
device of : Fidelis et fortis. This was a great matter in the way of 
honour, but very little in the way of wealth ; so that when the illus- 
trious companion of the great Henry died, the only inheritance he was 
able to leave his son was his sword and his device. Thanks to this 
double gift and the spotless name that accompanied them, M. de TreVille 
was admitted into the household of the young prince, where he made 
such good use of his sword, and was so faithful to his device, that 
Louis XIII., one of the good blades of his kingdom, was accustomed to 
say that, if he had a friend who was about to fight, he would advise him to 
choose as a second, himself first, and TreVille next, or even, perhaps 
before him. 

Thus Louis XIII. had a real liking for TreVille, a royal liking, a selfish 
liking, it is true, but which was still a liking. At that unhappy period it 
was an important consideration to be surrounded by such men as De 
TreVille. Many might take for their device the epithet of strong, which 
formed the second part of his motto, but very few gentlemen could lay 
claim to thefait/tfu/, which constituted the first. TreVille was one of 
these latter ; his was one of those rare organisations, endowed with an 
obedient intelligence like that of the dog, with a blind valour, a quick 
eye, and a prompt hand, to whom sight appeared only to be given to 
see if the king were dissatisfied with any one, and with the hand to 
strike this displeasing any one, whether a Besme, a Maurevers, a 
Poltiot de Me"re*, or a Vitry. In short, up to this period, nothing had 
been wanting to De TreVille but opportunity ; but he was ever on the 
watch for it, and he promised himself that he would never fail to seize 
it by its three hairs whenever it came within reach of his hand. Louis 
XIII. then made De TreVille the captain of his Musketeers, who were 
to Louis XIII., in devotedness, or rather in fanaticism, what his Ordi- 
naries had been to Henry III., and his Scotch Guard to Louis XI. 

On his part, and in this respect, the cardinal was not behind-hand 
with the king. When he saw the formidable and chosen body by which 
Louis XIII. surrounded himself, this second, or rather this first king 
of France, became desirous that he too should have his guard. He had 
his musketeers then, as Louis XIII. had his, and these two powerful 
rivals vied with each other in procuring the most celebrated swords- 
men, not only from all the provinces of France, but even from all 
foreign states. It was not uncommon for Richelieu and Louis XIII. to 
dispute over their evening game of chess, upon the merits of their ser- 
vants. Each boasted the bearing and the courage of his own people, and 
whilst exclaiming loudly against duels and broils, they excited them 
secretly to quarrel, deriving an immoderate satisfaction or a true regret 
at the success or defeat of their own combatants. We learn this from th e 
memoirs of a man who was concerned in some few of these defeats and 
in many of these victories. 


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TreVille had seized on the weak side of his master, and it was to this 
address that he owed the long and constant favour of a king who has not 
left the reputation behind him of having been very faithful in his friend- 
ships. He paraded his musketeers before the cardinal Armand 
Duplessis with an insolent air, which made the grey moustache of 
his eminence curl with ire. TreVille was a master of the war of 
that period, in which he who did not live at the expense of the 
enemy, lived at the expense of his compatriots : his soldiers formed 
a legion of devil-may-care fellows, perfectly undisciplined as regarded 
every one but himself. 

Loose, half-drunk, imposing, the king's musketeers, or rather M. de 
TreVille's, spread themselves about in the cabarets, in the public walks, 
and the public sports, shouting, twisting their moustaches, clanking 
their swords, and taking great pleasure in annoying the guards of M. le 
Cardinal whenever they could fall in with them ; then drawing in the 
open streets, as if it were the best of all possible sports ; sometimes 
killed, but sure in that case to be both wept and avenged ; often killing 
others, but then certain of not rotting in prison, M. de TreVille being 
there to claim them. Thus M. de Treville was praised to the highest 
note by these men, who absolutely adored him, and who, ruffians as 
they were, trembled before him like scholars before their master, 
obedient to his least word, and ready to sacrifice themselves to wash out 
the smallest insult. 

M. de TreVille employed this powerful machine for the king in the 
first place, and the friends of the king — and then for himself and his own 
friends. For the rest, in none of the memoirs of this period, which has 
left so many memoirs, is this worthy gentleman accused even by his 
enemies, and he had many such among men of the pen, as well as among 
men of the sword ; in no instance, we are told, was this worthy gentle- 
man accused of deriving personal advantage from the co-operation of 
his minions. Endowed with a rare genius for intrigue, which rendered 
him the equal of the ablest intriguers, he remained an honest man. Still 
further, in spite of sword-thrusts which weaken, and painful exercises 
which fatigue, he had become one of the most gallant frequenters of 
revels, one of the most insinuating squires of dames, one of the softest 
whisperers of interesting nothings of his day ; the bonnes fortunes of 
De Treville were talked of as those of M. de Bassompierre had been 
talked of twenty years before, and that was not saying a little. The 
captain of the musketeers then, was admired, feared, and loved, which 
constitutes the apogee of human fortunes. 

Louis XIV. absorbed all the smaller stars of his court in his own 
vast radiance ; but his father, a sun pluribus impar, left his personal 
splendour to each of his favourites, his individual value to each of his 
courtiers. In addition to the lever of the king and that of the cardinal, 
there might be reckoned in Paris at that time more than two hundred 
smaller levers, each, in its degree, attended. Among these two hundred 
levers, that of De TreVille was one of the most thronged. 

The court of his hotel, situated in the Rue du Vieux-Colombier, 


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resembled a camp, and that by six o'clock in the morning in summer 
and eight o'clock in winter. From fifty to sixty musketeers, who ap- 
peared to relieve each other in order always to present an imposing 
number, paraded constantly about, armed to the teeth and ready for 
anything. On one of those immense staircases upon whose space 
modern civilisation would build a whole house, ascended and descended 
the solicitors of Paris, who were in search of favours of any kind : 
gentlemen from the provinces anxious to be enrolled, and servants in 
all sorts of liveries, bringing and carrying messages between their 
masters and M. de TreVille. In the antechamber, upon long circular 
benches, reposed the elect, that is to say, those who were called. In 
this apartment a continued buzzing prevailed from morning till night, 
whilst M. de TreVille, in his closet contiguous to this antechamber, 
received visits, listened to complaints, gave his orders, and, like the 
king in his balcony at the Louvre, had only to place himself at the 
window to review both men and arms. 

The day on which D'Artagnan presented himself, the assemblage was 
imposing, particularly for a provincial just arriving from his province : 
it is true that this provincial was a Gascon, and that particularly at 
this period, the compatriots of D'Artagnan had the reputation of not 
being easily intimidated. When he had once passed the massive door, 
covered with long square-headed nails, he fell into the midst of a troop 
of men of the sword, who crossed each other in their passage, calling 
out, quarrelling, and playing tricks one among another. To make way 
through these turbulent and conflicting waves, it required to be an 
officer, a great noble, or a pretty woman. 

It was, then, into the midst of this tumult and disorder that our 
ypung man advanced with a beating heart, ranging his long rapier up 
his lanky leg, and keeping one hand on the edge of his cap, with that 
provincial half-smile which affects confidence. When he had passed 
one group he began to breathe more freely ; but he could not help 
observing that they turned round to look at him, and, for the first time 
in his life, D'Artagnan, who had till that day entertained a very good 
opinion of himself, felt that he was the object of ridicule. 

When arrived at the staircase it was still worse ; there were four 
musketeers on the bottom steps amusing themselves with the following 
exercise, whilst ten or twelve of their comrades waited upon the land- 
ing-place their turns to take their places in the sport. 

One of them, placed upon the top stair, naked sword in hand, pre- 
vented, or at least endeavoured to prevent, the three others from going up. 

These three others fenced against him with their agile swords, which 
D'Artagnan at first took for foils, and believed to be buttoned ; but he soon 
perceived, by certain scratches, that every weapon was pointed and 
sharpened, and that at each of these scratches, not only the spectators, 
but even the actors themselves, laughed like so many madmen. 

He who at the moment occupied the upper step, kept his adversaries 
in check admirably. A circle was formed around them ; the conditions 
required that at every hit, the person hit should quit the game, losing 


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his turn of audience to the advantage of the person who had hit him.- 
In five minutes three were slightly wounded, one on the hand, another 
on the chin, and the third on the ear, by the defender of the stair, who 
himself remained intact : a piece of skill which was worth to him, ac- 
cording to agreement, three turns of favour. 

However difficult it might be, or rather as he pretended it was, to 
astonish our young traveller, this pastime really astonished him ; he had 
seen in his province — that land in which heads become so easily heated 
— a few of the preliminaries of duels, but the gasconades of these four 
fencers appeared to him the strongest he had ever heard, even in Gas- 
cony. He believed himself transported into that famous country of 
giants into which Gulliver since went and was so frightened ; and yet 
he had not gained the goal, for there were still the landing-place and 
the antechamber. 

On the landing they were no longer fighting, but amused themselves 
with stories about women, and in the antechamber with stories about 
the court On the landing, D'Artagnan blushed ; in the antechamber, 
he trembled. His warm and fickle imagination, which in Gasconyhad 
rendered him formidable to young chambermaids, and even sometimes 
to their mistresses, had never dreamt, even in moments of delirium, of 
half the amorous wonders, or a quarter of the feats of gallantry, which 
were here set forth, accompanied by names the best known, and with 
details the least delicate. But if his morals were shocked on the land- 
ing, his respect for the cardinal was scandalised in the antechamber. 
There, to his great astonishment, D'Artagnan heard the policy which 
made all Europe tremble, criticised aloud and openly, as well as the pri- 
vate life of the cardinal, which had brought about the punishment of 
so many great nobles for having dared to pry into : that great man, who 
was so revered by D'Artagnan the elder, served as an object of ridicule 
to the musketeers, who cracked their jokes upon his bandy legs and his 
hump-back ; some sang ballads upon Madame d'Aiguillon, his mistress, 
and Madame Cambalet, his niece ; whilst others formed parties and 
plans to annoy the pages and guards of the cardinal duke, — all things 
which appeared to D'Artagnan monstrous impossibilities. 

Nevertheless, when the name of the king was now and then uttered 
unthinkingly amidst all these cardinal jokes, a sort of gag seemed to 
close for a moment all these jeering mouths ; they looked hesitatingly 
around them, and appeared to doubt the thickness of the partition be- 
tween them and the closet of M. de TreVille ; but a fresh allusion soon 
brought back the conversation to his eminence, and then the laughter 
recovered its loudness, and no colouring was spared to any of his actions. 

" Certes, these fellows will all be either embastilled or hung," thought 
the terrified D'Artagnan, " and I, no doubt, with them ; for from the 
moment I have either listened to or heard them, I shall be held to be 
an accomplice. What would my good father say, who so strongly 
pointed out to me the respect due to the cardinal, if he knew I was in 
the society of such pagans 7* 

We have no need, therefore, to say that D'Artagnan did not venture 


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The antechamber of m. de treville. 17 

to join in the conversation ; only he looked with all his eyes and lis- 
tened with all his ears, stretching his five senses so as to lose nothing ; 
and, in spite of his confidence in the paternal monitions, he felt him- 
self carried by his tastes and led by his instincts to praise rather than 
to blame the unheard of things which were passing before him. 

D'Artagnan being, however, a perfect stranger in the crowd of M. 
de TreVille's courtiers, and this his first appearance in that place, he 
was at length noticed, and a person came to him and asked him his 
business there. At this demand, D'Artagnan gave his name very mo- 
destly, laid a stress upon the title of compatriot, and begged the servant 
who had put the question to him to reauest a moment's audience of 
M. de TreVille — a request which the otner, with an air of protection, 
promised to convey in time and season. 

D'Artagnan, a little recovered from his first surprise, had now leisure 
to study costumes and countenances. 

The centre of the most animated group was a musketeer of great 
height, of a haughty countenance, and dressed in a costume so peculiar 
as to attract general attention. He did not wear the uniform cloak — 
which, indeed, at that time, less of liberty than of still greater inde- 
pendence, was not obligatory — but a cerulean blue doublet, a little 
faded and worn, and over this a magnificent baldrick worked in gold, 
which shone like water-ripples in the sun. A long cloak of crimson 
velvet fell in graceful folds from his shoulders, disclosing in front the 
splendid baldrick, from which was suspended a gigantic rapier. 

This musketeer had just come off guard, complained of having a cold, 
and coughed from time to time affectedly. It was for this reason, he 
said to those around him, he had put on his cloak, and whilst he spoke 
with a lofty air, and twisted his moustache, all admired his embroidered 
baldrick, and D'Artagnan more than any one. 

" What do you make a wonder about ?" said the musketeer ; " the 
fashion is coming in ; it is a folly, I admit, but still it is the fashion. 
Besides, one must lay out one's inheritance somehow." 

" Ah, Porthos !" cried one of his companions, " don't think to palm 
upon us that you obtained that baldrick by paternal generosity : it was 
given to you by that veiled lady I met you with the other Sunday, near 
the gate Saint-Honore"." 

" No, 'pon honour ; by the faith of a gentleman, I bought it with the 
contents of my own purse," answered he whom they designated under 
the name of Porthos. 

" Yes, about in the same manner," said another musketeer, " as I 
bought this new purse with the money my mistress put into the 
old one." 

" It's true, though," said Porthos ; "and the proof is, that I paid 
twelve pistoles for it." 

The wonder was increased, though the doubt continued to exist 

"Is it not true, Aramis ?" said Porthos, turning towards another 

This other musketeer formed a perfect contrast with his interrogator, 


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who had just designated him by the name of Aramis : he was a stout 
man, of about two or three and twenty, with an open, ingenuous coun- 
tenance, a black, mild eye, and cheeks rosy and downy as an autumn 
peach ; his delicate moustache marked a perfectly straight line upon 
his upper lip : he appeared to dread to lower his hands lest their veins 
should swell, and he pinched the tips of his ears from time to time to 
preserve their delicate pink transparency. Habitually he spoke little 
and slowly, bowed frequently, laughed without noise, showing his teeth, 
which were fine, and of which, as of the rest of his person, he appeared 
to take great care. He answered the appeal of his friend by an affirma- 
tive nod of the head. 

This affirmation appeared to dispel all doubts with regard to the bal- 
drick ; they continued to admire it, but said no more about it ; and, with 
one of the rapid changes of thought, the conversation passed suddenly 
to another subject 

" What do you think of the story Chalais' esquire relates ?* asked 
another musketeer, without addressing any one in particular. 

"And what does he say ?" asked Porthos, in a self-sufficient tone. 

" He relates that he met at Brussels Rochefort, the dme damntc of 
the cardinal, disguised as a capuchin ; and that this cursed Rochefort, 
thanks to his disguise, had tricked M. de Laigues, like a simpleton 
as he is." 

"A simpleton, indeed !" said Porthos ; "but is the matter certain?" 

" I had it from Aramis," replied the musketeer. 


" Why, you know it is, Porthos," said Aramis ; " I told you of it yes- 
terday—say nothing more about it" 

" Say nothing more about it — that's your opinion !" replied Porthos. 
" Say nothing more about it ! Peste I you come to your conclusions 
quickly. What ! the cardinal sets a spy upon a gentleman, has his 
letters stolen from him by means of a traitor, a brigand, a rascal — has, 
with the help of this spy, and thanks to this correspondence, Chalais* 
throat cut, under the stupid pretext that he wanted to kill the king 
and marry monsieur to the queen ! Nobody knew a word of this 
enigma. You unravelled it yesterday, to the great satisfaction of all ; 
and whilst we are still gaping with wonder at the news, you come 
and tell us to-day — * Let us say no more about it* " 

" Well, then, let us speak about it, since you desire it," replied Aramis, 

"This Rochefort," cried Porthos, "if I were poor Chalais' esquire, 
should pass a minute or two very uncomfortably with me." 

" And you— you would pass rather a sad half-hour with the Red 
Duke," replied Aramis. 

"Oh ! oh ! the Red Duke ! bravo ! bravo ! the Red Duke !» cried 
Porthos, clapping his hands and nodding his head. " The Red Duke is 
capital. I'll circulate that saying, be assured, my dear fellow. Who 
says this Aramis is not a wit ? What a misfortune it is you didtnot fol- 
low your first vocation— what a delightful abbe' you would have made !" 


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" Oh, it's only a temporary postponement," replied Aramis ; " I shall 
be one, some day. You very well know, Porthos, that I continue to 
study theology for that purpose." 

" He will be one, as he says," cried Porthos ; " he will be one, sooner 
or later." 

" Soon," said Aramis. 

" He only waits for one thing to determine him to resume his cassock, 
which hangs behind his uniform," said another musketeer. 

" What is he waiting for ?" asked another. 

" Only till the queen has given an heir to the crown of France." 

" No jokes upon that subject, gentlemen,* said Porthos ; " thank God, 
the queen is still of an age to give one." 

" They say that M. de Buckingham is in France," replied Aramis, 
with a' significant smrle, which gave to this sentence, apparently so 
simple, a tolerably scandalous meaning. 

"Aramis, my good friend, this time you are wrong," interrupted 
Porthos, "your wit is always leading you astray ; if M. de TreVille heard 
you, you would repent of speaking thus." 

" Are you going to teach me better, Porthos," cried Aramis, from 
whose usually mild eye a flash passed like lightning. 

" My dear fellow, be a musketeer or an abbe*. Be one or the other, 
but not both," replied Porthos. " You know what Athos told you the 
other day : you eat at everybody's mess. Ah ! don't be angry, I beg of 
you, that would be useless ; you know what is agreed upon between you, 
Athos, and me. You go to Madame d'Aiguillon's, and you pay your 
uourt to her ; you go to Madame de Bois-Tracys,the cousin of Madame 
de Chevreuse, and you pass for being far advanced in the good graces 
of that lady. Oh, good Lord I don't trouble yourself to reveal your 
good fortunes ; no one asks for your secret — all the world knows your 
discretion. But since you possess that virtue, why the devil don't you 
make use of it with respect to her Majesty ? Let whoever likes talk of 
the king and the cardinal, and how he likes ; but the queen is sacred, 
and if any one speaks of her, let it be well." 

" Porthos, you are as vain as Narcissus, I plainly tell you so," replied 
Aramis ; " you know I hate moralising, except when it is done by 
Athos. As to you, good sir. you wear too magnificent a baldrick to be 
strong on that head. I will be an abbe* if it suits me ; in the meanwhile 
I am a musketeer : in that quality I say what I please, and at this 
moment it pleases me to say that you annoy me." 

"Aramis !" 


" Gentlemen ! gentlemen !" cried the surrounding group. 

" Monsieur de Treville awaits M. d'Artagnan," cried a servant, throw- 
ing open the door of the cabinet 

At this announcement, during which the door remained open, every 
one became mute, and amidst the general silence the young man 
crossed the antechamber in a part of its length, and entered the 



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apartment of the captain of the musketeers, congratulating himsetf 
with all his heart at having so narrowly escaped the end of this strange 



M. de Tr£ville was at the moment in rather an ill-humour ; never- 
theless, he saluted the young man politely, who bowed to the very 
ground, and he smiled on receiving his compliment, the Be'arnese accent 
of which recalled to him at the same time his youth and his country, a 
double remembrance, which makes a man smile at all ages. But step- 
ping towards the antechamber, and making a sign to d'Artagnan with 
his hand, as if to ask his permission to finish with others before he 
began with him, he called three times, with a louder voice at each time, 
so that he went through all the tones between the imperative accent 
and the angry accent 

" Athos ! Porthos ! Aramis !" 

The two musketeers, with whom we have already made acquaintance, 
and who answered to the last two of these three names, immediately 
quitted the group of which they formed a part, and advanced towards 
the cabinet, the door of which closed after them as soon as they had 
entered. Their appearance, although it was not quite at ease, excited 
by its carelessness, at once full of dignity and submission, the admira- 
tion of D'Artagnan, who beheld in these two men demi-gods, and in their 
leader an Olympian Jupiter, armed with all his thunders. 

When the two musketeers had entered, when the door was closed be- 
hind them, when the buzzing murmur of the antechamber, to which 
the summons which had been made had doubtless furnished fresh ali- 
ment, had recommenced ; when M. de Treville had three or four times 
paced in silence, aad with a frowning brow, the whole length of his 
cabinet, passing each time before Porthos and Aramis, who were as 
upright and silent as if on parade, he stopped all at once full in front of 
them, and, covering them from head to foot with an angry look — 

" Do you know what the king said to me," cried he, " and that no 
longer ago than yesterday evening — do you know, gentlemen 1* 

" No," replied the two musketeers, after a moment's silence — " no, 
sir, we do not." 

"But I hope that you will do us the honour to tell us," added 
Aramis, in his politest tone, and with the most graceful bow. 

" He told me that he should henceforth recruit his musketeers from 
among the guards of Monsieur the Cardinal." 

" The guards of M. the Cardinal ! and why so ?" asked Porthos, 

" Because he plainly perceives that his piquette stands in need of 
being enlivened by a mixture of good wine. 8 

* A liquor squeezed out of grapes, when they have been pressed, and water poured upon 


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*The two musketeers coloured up to the eyes. D'Artagnan did not 
know where he was, and would have wished to be a hundred feet under 

" Yes, yes," continued M. de TreVille, growing warmer as he spoke, 
"and his Majesty was right, for, upon my honour, it is true that the 
musketeers make but a miserable ngure at court. M. le Cardinal re- 
lated yesterday, whilst playing with the king, with an air of condolence 
not very pleasing to me, that the day before yesterday those damned 
musketeers, those dare-devils — he dwelt upon those words with an 
ironical tone still more unpleasing to me — those braggarts ; added he, 
glancing at me with his tiger-cat's eye, had made a riot in the Rue 
Ferou, in a cabaret, and that a party of his guards (I thought he was 
going to laugh in my face) had been forced to arrest the rioters. Mor- 
bleu ! you must know something about it ! Arrest musketeers ! You 
were among them — you were ! Don't deny it ; you were recognised, 
and the cardinal named you. But it's all my fault ! yes, it's all my 
fault, because it is myself who select my men. You, now, Aramis, why 
the devil did you ask me for a uniform, when you would have been so 
much better in a cassock ? And you, Porthos, do you only wear such 
a fine golden baldrick to suspend a sword of straw from it ? And 
Athos— I don't see Athos ! Where is he ?" 

" Sir," replied Aramis, in a sorrowful tone, " he is ill, very ill !" 

u 111 — very ill, say you ? And what is his malady ?" 

" It is feared that it is the small-pox, sir," replied Porthos, desirous 
of getting a word in the conversation ; " and, what is worst, that it will 
certainly spoil his face." 

" The small-pox ! That's a pretty glorious story to tell me, Porthos ! 
Sick of the small-pox at his age ! No, no ; but wounded, without 
doubt — perhaps killed. Ah, if I knew ! Sang Dieu / Messieurs mus- 
keteers, I will not have this haunting of bad places, this quarrelling in 
the streets, this sword-play in cross-ways ; and, above all, I will not 
have occasion given for the cardinal's guards, who arc brave, quiet, 
skilful men, who never put themselves in a position to be arrested, and 
who, besides, never allow themselves to be arrested, to laugh at you ! 
I am sure of it — they would prefer dying on the spot to being arrested, 
or to giving back a step. To save yourselves, to scamper away, to fly ! 
a pretty thing to be said of the king's musketeers !" 

Porthos and Aramis trembled with rage ; they could willingly have 
strangled M. de TreVille, if, at the bottom of all this, they had not felt 
it was the great love he bore them which made him speak thus. They 
stamped upon the carpet with their feet, they bit their lips till the blood 
sprang, and grasped the hilts of their swords with all their strength. 
Without, all haa heard, as we have said, Athos, Porthos, and Aramis 
called, and had guessed from M. de TreVille's tone of voice that he was 
very angry about something. Ten curious heads were glued to the 
tapestry, and became pale with fury ; for their ears, closely applied to 
the door, did not lose a syllable of what he said, whilst their mouths 
repeated, as he went on, the insulting expressions of the captain to the 


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whole papulation of the antechamber. In an instant, from the door of 
the cabinet to the street-gate, the whole hotel was in a state of commo- 

" Ah ! the king's musketeers are arrested by the guards of M. the 
Cardinal, are they !" continued M. de Treville, as furious within as 
his soldiers ; but emphasising his words, and plunging them, one by 
one, so to say, like so many blows of a stiletto, into the bosoms of his 
auditors. "What! six of his eminence's guards arrest six of his 
majesty's musketeers ! Morbleu / my part is taken ! I will go straight 
to the Louvre; I will give in my resignation as captain of the king's 
musketeers, to take a lieutenancy in the cardinal's guards ; and if he 
refuses me, morbleu / I will turn abbe*." 

At these words, the murmur without became an explosion ; nothing 
was to be heard but oaths and blasphemies. The morbleus / the sang 
Dims! the morts de touts les diables 1 crossed each other in the air. 
D'Artagnan looked round for some tapestry behind which he might 
hide himself, and felt an immense inclination to crawl under the table. 

"Well, mon capitaine," said Porthos, quite beside himself, "the 
truth is, that we were six against six ; but we were not captured by fair 
means ; and before we had time to draw our swords two of our party 
were dead ; and Athos, grievously wounded, was very little better. For 
you know Athos. Well, captain, he endeavoured twice to get up, and 
fell again twice. And we did not surrender — no ! they dragged us away 
by force. On the way we escaped As for Athos, they believed him to 
be dead, and left him very quietly on the field of battle, not thinking 
it worth the trouble to carry him away. Now, that's the whole history. 
What the devil, captain, one cannot win all one's battles ! The great 
Pompey lost that of Pharsalia ; and Francis the First, who was, as I 
have heard say, as good as other folks, nevertheless lost the battle of 

" And I have the honour of assuring you, that I killed one of them 
with his own sword,*' safd Aramis, " for mine was broken at the first 
parry. Killed him, or poniarded him, sir, as is most agreeable to you." 

" I did not know that," replied M. de Treville, in a somewhat softened 
tone. " M. le Cardinal exaggerated, as I perceive." 

" But pray, sir," continued Aramis, who, seeing his captain become 
appeased, ventured to risk a prayer — " pray, sir, do not say that Athos 
is wounded ; he would be in despair if that should come to the ears of 
the king ; and as the wound is very serious^ seeing that after crossing 
the shoulder it penetrates into the chest, it is to be feared " 

At this instant the tapestry was raised, and a noble and handsome 
head, but frightfully pale, appeared under the fringe. 

" Athos !" cried the two musketeers. 

"Athos !" repeated M. dc TreViile to himself. 

" You have sent for me. sir,* said Athos to M. de TreViile, in a feeble 
yet perfectly calm voice — " you have sent for me, as my comrades inform 
me, and I have hastened to receive y~ur orders. I am here, monsieur ; 
what do you want with me r" 


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And at these words the musketeer, in irreproachable costume, belted 
as usual, with a tolerably firm step, entered the cabinet. M. de TreVille, 
moved to the bottom of his heart by this proof of courage, sprang to- 
wards him. 

" I was about to say to these gentlemen," added he, " that I forbid 
my musketeers to expose their lives needlessly ; for brave men are very 
dear to the king, and the king knows that his musketeers are the 
bravest fellows on earth. Your hand, Athos ! M 

And without waiting for the answer of the newly-arrived to this proof 
of affection, M. de TreVille seized his right hand, and pressed it with all 
his might, without perceiving that Athos, whatever might be his self- 
command, allowed a slight murmur of pain to escape him, and, if pos- 
sible, grew paler than he was before. 

The door had remained open, so strong was the excitement produced 
by the arrival of Athos, whose wound, though kept as secret as possible, 
was known to all. A burst of satisfaction nailed the last words of the 
captain ; and two or three heads, carried away by the enthusiasm of 
the moment, appeared through the openings of the tapestry. M. de 
Tre'ville was about to reprehend this infraction of the rules of etiquette, 
when he felt the hand of Athos stiffen within his, and, upon turning his 
eyes towards him, perceived he was about to faint. At the same instant 
Athos, who had rallied all his energies to contend against pain, at length 
overcome by it, fell upon the floor as if he was dead. 

" A surgeon !" cried M. de Tre'ville, " mine ! the king's ! the best 
that can be found ! — a surgeon ! or, sang Dieu / my brave Athos will 
die !" 

At the cries of M. de Tre'ville, the whole assemblage rushed into the 
cabinet without his thinking of shutting the door against any one, and 
all crowded round the wounded man. But all this eager attention 
might have been useless if the doctor so loudly called for had not 
chanced to be in the hotel. He pushed through the crowd, approached 
Athos, still insensible, and, as all this noise and commotion inconveni- 
enced him greatly, he required, as the first and most urgent thing* that 
the musketeer should be carried into another chamber. Immediately 
M. de Tre'ville opened the door, and pointed the way to Porthos and 
Aramis, who bore their comrade in their arms. Behind this group 
walked the surgeon, and as the surgeon passed through, the door closed. 

The cabinet of M. de Tre'ville, generally held so sacred, became in an 
instant the recipient of the antechamber. Every one spoke, harangued, 
and vociferated, swearing, cursing, and consigning the cardinal and his 
guards to all the devils. 

An instant after, Porthos and Aramis re-entered, the surgeon and 
M. de Tre'ville alone remaining with the wounded man. 

At length M. de Tre'ville himself returned. Athos had recovered his' 
senses ; the surgeon declared that the situation of the musketeer had 
nothing in it to render his friends uneasy, his weakness having been 
purely and simply aused by loss of blood. 

Then M. de TreVille made a sign with his hand, and all retired except 


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D'Artagnan, who did not forget that he had an audience, and, with the 
tenacity of a Gascon, remained in his place. 

When all had gone out, and the door was closed, M. de TreVille, on 
turning round, found himself alone with the young man. The stirring 
event which had just passed had in some degree broken the thread of 
his ideas. He inquired what was the will of his persevering visitor* 
D'Artagnan then repeated his name, and in an instant, recovering all 
his remembrances of the present and the past, M. de TreVille was in 
possession of the current circumstances. 

" Pardon me," said he, smiling, " pardon me, my dear compatriot, 
but I had perfectly forgotten you. But what help is there for it ! a cap- 
tain is nothing but a father of a family, charged with even a greater 
responsibility than the father of an ordinary family. Soldiers are great 
children ; but as I maintain that the orders of the king, and more par- 
ticularly the orders of M. the Cardinal, should be executed " 

D'Artagnan could not restrain a smile. By this smile, M. de TreVille 
judged that he had not to deal with a fool, and changing the subject, 
came straight to the point 

" I respected your father very much," said he. " What can I do for 
the son ? Tell me quickly, my time is not my own." 

" Monsieur," said D'Artagnan, " on quitting Tarbes, and coming 
hither, it was my intention to request of you, in remembrance of the 
friendship which you have not forgotten, the uniform of a musketeer ; but 
after all that I have seen, during the last two hours, I have become aware 
of the value of such a favour, and tremble lest I should not merit it" 

" Well, young man," replied M. de TreVille, " it is, in fact, a favour, 
but it may not be so far beyond your hopes as you believe, or rather as 
you appear to believe ; but his majesty's decision is always necessary : 
and I inform you with regret, that no one becomes a musketeer without 
the preliminary ordeal of several campaigns, certain brilliant actions, or 
a service of two years in some regiment of less reputation than ours." 

D'Artagnan bowed without replying, feeling his desire to don the 
musketeer's uniform vastly increased by the difficulties which he learnt 
preceded the attainment of it 

" But," continued M. de TreVille, fixing upon his compatriot a look so 
piercing, that it might be said he wished to read the thoughts of his 
heart ; " but, on account of my old companion, your father, as I have 
said, I will do something for you, young man. Our cadets from Bdarn 
are not generally very rich, and I have no reason to think matters have 
much changed in this respect since I left the province. I dare say you 
have not brought too large a stock of money with you ?" 

D'Artagnan drew himself up with an air that plainly said, " I ask 
charity ofno man." 

" Oh ! that's all very well, young man," continued M. de TreVille, 
" that's all very well. I am well acquainted with all those lofty airs ; I 
myself came to Paris with four crowns in my purse, and would have 
fought with any one who would have dared to tell me I was not in a 
condition to purchase the Louvre." 


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D'Artagnan's carriage became still more imposing ; thanks to the 
sale of his horse, he commenced his career with four crowns more than 
M. de Trdville had possessed at the commencement of his. 

" You ought, I say, then, to husband the means you have, however 
large the sum may be ; but you ought also to endeavour to perfect your- 
self in the exercises becoming a gentleman. I will write a letter to-day 
to the director of the Royal Academy, and to-morrow he will admit you 
without any expense to yourself. Do not refuse this little service. Our 
best born and richest gentlemen sometimes solicit it, without being able 
to obtain it You will be learning riding, swordsmanship in all its branches, 
and dancing ; you will make some desirable acquaintances, and from 
time to time you can call upon me, iust to tell me now you are going on, 
and to say whether I can be of further service to you." 

D'Artagnan, stranger as he was to all the manners of a court, could 
not but perceive a little coldness in this reception. 

" Alas ! sir," said he, " I cannot but perceive how sadly I miss the 
letter of introduction whith my father gave me to present to you." 

" I certainly am surprised," replied M. de Tre'ville, " that you should 
undertake so long a journey without that necessary viaticum, the only 
resource of us poor Bdarnese." 

" I had one, sir, and, thank God, such as I could wish, but it was per- 
fidiously stolen from me." 

He then related the adventure of Meung, described the unknown 
gentleman with the greatest minuteness, and all with a warmth and 
truthfulness that delighted M. de Tre'ville. 

" This is all very strange," said M. de Tre'ville, after meditating a 
minute ; " you mentioned my name, then, aloud ?" 

" Yes, sir, I certainly committed that imprudence ; but why should I 
have done otherwise ? A name like yours must be as a buckler to me 
on my way. Why should I not avail myself of it ?" 

Flattery was at that period very current, and M. de Tre'ville loved 
incense as well as a king, or even a cardinal He could not refrain 
from a smile of visible satisfaction, but this smile soon disappeared ; 
and returning to the adventure of Meung 

" Tell me," continued he, " had not this gentleman a slight scar on 
his cheek ?" 

"Yes, such a one as would be made by the grazing of a ball." 

" Was he not a fine-looking man ?" 


"Of lofty stature?"' 


" Of pale complexion and brown hair ?" 

" Yes, yes, that is he ; how is it, sir, that you are acquainted with this 
man ? If ever I should meet him again, and I will find him, I swear,— 
were it in hell." 

"He was waiting for a woman," continued Tre'ville. » 

" He, at least, departed immediately after having conversed for a 
minute with the one for whom he appeared to have been waiting." 


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" You did not gather the subject of their discourse ?" 

" He gave her a box ; told her that that box contained her instruc- 
tions, and desired her not to open it before she arrived in London." 

" Was this woman English ?" 

" He called her Milady." 

" It is he ! it must be he !" murmured TreVille ; " I thought he was 
still at Brussels !" 

" Oh ! sir ; if you know who and what this man is," cried D'Artagnan, 
" tell me who he is, and whence he is. I will then release you from all 
your promises — even that of procuring my admission into the Musket- 
eers ; for, before everything, I am desirous to avenge myself." 

" Beware, young man !" cried De TreVille ; " if you see him coming 
on one side of the street, pass by on the other ! Do not cast yourself 
against such a rock ; he would break you like glass." 

" That thought will not prevent me," replied D'Artagnan, " if ever I 
should happen to meet with him." 

" In the meantime, if you will take my advice, you will not seek him," 
said TreVille. 

All at once, the Captain stopped, as if struck by a sudden suspicion. 
This great hatred which the young traveller manifested so loudly for 
this man, who — a rather improbable thing — had stolen his father's letter 
from him ! — Was there not some perfidy concealed under this hatred ? 
— might not this young man be sent by his Eminence ? — might he not 
have come for the purpose of laying a snare for him ? — this pretended 
D'Artagnan ! was he not an emissary of the cardinal's whom ne sought 
to introduce into his house, to place near him, and win his confidence, 
and afterwards to bring about his ruin, as had been practised in a 
thousand other instances ? He fixed his eyes upon D'Artagnan, even 
more earnestly than before. He was moderately reassured, however, 
by the aspect of that countenance, full of shrewd intelligence and 
affected humility. 

I know he is a Gascon, reflected he ; but he may be one for the 
cardinal as well as for me. Let us try him. — " My friend," said he, 
slowly, " I wish, as the son of an ancient friend— for I consider this 
story of the lost letter perfectly true— I wish, I say, in order to repair 
the coldness you may have remarked in my reception of you, to make 
you acquainted with the secrets of our policy.-— The king and the 
cardinal are the best of friends ; their apparent bickerings are only 
feints to deceive fools. I am not willing that a compatriot, a handsome 
cavalier, a brave youth, quite fit to make his way, should become the 
dupe of all these artifices, and fall into the snare, after the example of 
so many others, who have been ruined by it. Be assured that I am 
devoted to both these all-powerful masters, and that my earnest endea- 
vours have no other aim than the service of the king, and that of the 
cardinal, one of the most illustrious geniuses that France has ever 

" Now, young man, regulate your conduct accordingly ; and if you 
entertain, whether from*your family, your relations, or even from your 


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instincts, any of these enmities which we see constantly breaking out 
against the cardinal, bid me adieu, and let us separate. I will aid you 
in many ways, but without attaching you to my person. I hope that 
my frankness, at least, will make you my friend ; for you are the x>nly 
young man to whom I have hitherto spoken as I have done to you." 

Treville said to himself : 

" If the cardinal has set this young fox upon me, he will certainly not 
have failed, he, who knows how bitterly I execrate him, to tell his spy 
that the best means of making his court to me is to rail at him ; there- 
fore in spite of all my protestations, if it be as I suspect, my cunning 
gossip here will launch out in abuse of his Eminence." 

It, however, proved otherwise. D'Artagnan answered, with the 
greatest simplicity : 

"lam come to Paris with exactly such intentions, sir. My father 
advised me to stoop to nobody but the King, Monsieur the Cardinal, and 
you — whom he considered the three first personages in France.* 

D'Artagnan added M. de TreVille to the others, as may be perceived ; 
but he thought this adjunction would do no harm. 

" I hold, therefore, M. the Cardinal in the greatest veneration," 
continued he ; " and have the greatest respect for his actions. So much 
the better for me, sir, if you speak to me, as you say, with frankness — 
for then you will do me the honour to esteem the resemblance of our 
opinions ; but if you have entertained any doubt, as naturally yoa may, 
I feel that I am ruining myself by speaking the truth. But 1 still trust 
you will not esteem me the less for it, and that is my object beyond all 

M. de TreVille was surprised to the greatest degree. So much pene- 
tration — so much frankness — created admiration, but did not entirely 
remove his suspicions ; the more this young man was superior to others, 
the more he was to be dreaded, if he meant to deceive him. Never- 
theless, he pressed D'Artagnan's hand, and said to him : 

" You are an honest youth ; but, at the present moment, I can only 
do for you that which I just now offered. My hotel will be always open 
to you. Hereafter, being able to ask for me at all hours, and, conse- 
quently to take advantage of all opportunities, you will probably obtain 
that which you desire." 

"That is to say, sir," replied D'Artagnan, "that you will wait till I 
have proved myself worthy of it. Well ! be assured," added he, with 
the familiarity of a Gascon, "you shall not wait long." And he bowed 
on retiring, as if he considered the future was left in his own hands. 

" But, wait a minute," said M. de TreVille, stopping him. " I pro- 
mised you a letter for the director of the Academy ; are you too proud 
to accept it, young gentleman ?" 

u No, sir," said D'Artagnan ; " and I will answer for it that this one 
shall not fare like the other. I will guard it so carefully, that I will be 
sworn it shall arrive at its address, and woe be to him who shall attempt 
to take it from me !" 

M. de TreVille smiled at this little flourish ; and, leaving his young 


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companion in the embrasure of the window, where they had talked 
together, he seated himself at a table, in order to write the promised 
letter of recommendation. Whilst he was doing this, D'Artagnan, 
having no better employment, amused himself with beating a march 
upon the window, and with looking at the musketeers, who went away, 
one after another, following them with his eyes till they disappeared at 
the turning of the street. 

M. de TreVille, after having written the letter, sealed it ; and, rising, 
approached the young man, in order to give it to him. But, at the very 
moment that D'Artagnan stretched out his hand to receive it, M. de 
Trdville was highly astonished to see his prottgS make a sudden spring, 
become crimson with passion, and rush from the cabinet, crying — ■ Ah ! 
Sang Dieu / he shall not escape me this time !" 

"Who? who?" asked M. de TreVille. 

"He, my thief!" replied D'Artagnan. "Ah! the traitor !" and he 

"The devil take the madman !" murmured M. de TreVille, "unless," 
added he, " this is a cunning mode of escaping, seeing that he has failed 
in his purpose !" 



D'Artagnan, in a state of fury, crossed the antechamber at three 
bounds, and was darting towards the stairs, which he reckoned upon 
descending four at a time, when, in his heedless course, he ran headfore- 
most against a musketeer, who was coming out of one of M. de TreVille's 
back rooms, and striking his shoulder violently, made him utter a cry, 
or rather a howl. 

" Excuse me," said D'Artagnan, endeavouring to resume his course, 
" excuse me, but I am in a hurry." 

Scarcely had he descended the first stair, when a hand of iron seized 
him by the belt and stopped him. 

" You are in a hurry," said the musketeer, as pale as a sheet ; " under 
that pretence, you run against me ; you say, ' Excuse me !' and you 
believe that that is sufficient ? Not at all, my young man. Do you 
fancy that because you have heard M. de Treville speak to us a little 
cavalierly to-day, that other people are to treat us as he speaks to us ? 
Undeceive yourself, my merry companion, you are not M. de TreVille." 

" Ma foi !" replied D'Artagnan, recognising Athos, who, after the 

repeat to you, however, and this time, parole dhonneur, — I think, per- 
haps, too often, — that I am in great haste — great haste. Leave your hold 
then, I beg of you, and let me go where my business calls me." 


by Google 


" Monsieur," said Athos, letting him go, " you are not polite ; it is 
easy to perceive that you come from a di stance. " 

D'Artagnan had already strode down three or four stairs, when 
Athos* last remark stopped him short 

" Morbleu, monsieur !" said he, " however far I may come, it is not 
you who can give me a lesson in good manners, I warn you." 

" Perhaps !" said Athos. 

" Ah ! if I were not in such haste, and if I were not running after 
some one," said D'Artagnan. 

" Mister gentleman in a hurry, you can find me without running 
after me ; me ! do you understand me ?" 

" And where, I pray you ?" 

" Near the Cannes Deschaux." 

"At what hour ?" 

" About noon." 

"About noon ; that will do, I will be there." 

" Endeavour not to make me wait, for at a quarter past twelve I will 
cut off your ears as you run." 

" Good !" cried D'Artagnan, " I will be there ten minutes before 

And he set off running as if the devil possessed him, hoping that he 
might yet find the unknown, whose slow pace could not have carried 
him far. 

But, at the street-gate Porthos was talking with the soldier on guard. 
Between the two talkers there was just room for a man to pass. 
D'Artagnan thought it would suffice for him, and he sprang forwara like 
a dart between them. But D'Artagnan had reckoned without the wind. 
As he was about to pass, the wind blew out Porthos* long cloak, and 
D'Artagnan rushed straight into the middle of it. Without doubt, Por- 
thos had reasons for not abandoning this part of his vestments, for, 
instead of quitting his hold of the flap in his hand, he pulled it towards 
him, so that D'Artagnan rolled himself up in the velvet, by a movement 
of rotation explained by the persistency of Porthos. 

D'Artagnan, hearing the musketeer swear, wished to escape from 
under the cloak which blinded him, and endeavoured to make his way 
up the folds of it He was particularly anxious to avoid marring the 
freshness of the magnificent baldrick we are acquainted with ; but on 
timidly opening his eyes, he found himself with his nose fixed between 
the two shoulders of Porthos, that is to say, exactly upon the baldrick. 

Alas ! how most of the things in this world have nothing in their 
favour but appearances ! — the baldrick was glittering with gold in the 
front, but was nothing but simple buff behind. Vain-glorious as he 
was, Porthos could not afford to have an entirely gold-worked baldrick, 
but had, at least, half one ; the care on account of the cold, and the 
necessity for the cloak became intelligible. 

" Vertubleu !" cried Porthos, making strong efforts to get rid of 
D'Artagnan, who was wriggling about his back, " the fellow must be 
mad to run against people m this manner !" 


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" Excuse me !" said D'Artagnan, reappearing under the shoulder of 
the giant, " but I am in such haste — I was running after some one, 

and " 

" And do you always forget your eyes when you happen to be in a 
hurry ?" asked Porthos. 

"No," replied D'Artagnan, piqued, "no, and thanks to my eyes, I 
can see what other people cannot see." 

Whether Porthos understood him or did not understand him, giving 
way to his anger, — 

" Monsieur," said he, " you stand a chance of getting chastised if you 
run aeainst musketeers in this fashion." 

" Chastised, monsieur !" said D'Artagnan, " the expression is strong." 
" It is one that becomes a man accustomed to look his enemies in 
the face." 

" Ah ! pardieu ! I know full well that you don't turn your back to 
yours !" 

And the young man, delighted with his joke, went away laughing 

Porthos foamed with rage, and made a movement to rush after 

" Presently, presently," cried the latter, " when you haven't your 
cloak on." 
" At one o'clock then, behind the Luxembourg." 
" Very well, at one o'clock, then," replied D'Artagnan, turning the 
angle of the street 

But neither in the street he had passed through, nor in the one 
which his eager glance pervaded, could he see any one ; however slowly 
the unknown had walked, he was gone on his way, or perhaps had 
entered some house. D'Artagnan inquired of every one ne met with, 
went down to the ferry, came up again by the Rue de Seine, and the 
Croix Rouge ; but nothing, absolutely nothing ! This chase was, how- 
ever, advantageous to him in one sense, for in proportion as the per- 
spiration broke from his forehead, his heart began to cooL 

He began to reflect upon the events that had passed ; they were 
numerous and inauspicious ; it was scarcely eleven o'clock in the 
morning, and yet this morning had already brought him into disgrace 
with M. de TreVille. who could not fail to think the manner in which 
D'Artagnan had left him a little cavalier. 

Besides this, he had drawn upon himself two good duels with two 
men, each capable of killing three D'Artagnans, with two musketeers, in 
short, with two of those beings whom he esteemed so greatly, that he 
placed them in his mind and heart above all other men. 

Appearances were sad. Sure of being killed by Athos, it may easily 
be understood that the young man was not very uneasy about Porthos. 
As hope, however, is the last thing extinguished in the heart of man, he 
finished by hoping that he might survive, although terribly wounded in 
both these duels, and in case of surviving, he made the following repre- 
hensions upon his own conduct 


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What a hare-brained, stupid fellow I am ! That brave and unfortunate 
Athos was wounded exactly on that shoulder against which I must run 
head-foremost, like a ram. The only thing that astonishes me is that 
he did not strike me dead at once : he had good cause to do so, the pain 
I gave him must have been atrocious. As to Porthos, — oh ! as to Por- 
thos, ma foi ! that's a droll affair ! 

And, in spite of himself, the young man began to laugh aloud, looking 
round carefully, however, to see if his solitary laugh, without an appa- 
rent cause, in the eyes of passers-by, offended no one. 

As to Porthos, that is certainly droll, but I am not the less a giddy 
fooL Are people to be run against without warning ? No ! and have 
I any right to go and peep under their cloaks to see what is not there ? 
He would have pardoned me, he would certainly have pardoned me, if 
I had not said anything to him about that cursed baldrick, in ambiguous 
words, it is true, but rather drolly ambiguous ! Ah ! cursed Gascon that 
I am, I get from one hobble into another. " Friend D'Artagnan," con- 
tinued he, speaking to himself with all the amenity that he thought due 
to himself, " if you escape, of which there is not much chance, I would 
advise you to practise perfect politeness for the future. You must hence- 
forth be admired and quoted as a model of it. To be obliging and 
polite does not necessarily make a man a coward. Look at Aramis 
now : Aramis is mildness and grace personified. Well ! did ever any 
body dream of saying that Aramis is a coward ? No, certainly not, and 
from this moment I will endeavour to model myself after him. Ah ! 
that's strange ! here he is !" 

D'Artagnan, walking and soliloquising had arrived within a few steps 
of the Hotel d'Arguillon, and in front of that hotel perceived Aramis 
chatting gaily with three gentlemen of the king's guards. On his part 
Aramis perceived D'Artagnan ; but as he had not forgotten that it was 
before this young man that M. de TreVille had been so angry in the 
morning, and that a witness of the rebuke the musketeers had received 
was not likely to be at all agreeable, he pretended not to see him. 
D'Artagnan, on the contrary, quite full of his plans of conciliation and 
courtesy, approached the young men, with a profound bow, accompanied 
by a most gracious smile. Aramis bowed his head slightly, but did not 
smile. All four, besides, immediately broke off their conversation. 

D'Artagnan was not so dull as not to perceive that he was not wanted ; 
but he was not sufficiently broken into the fashions of the world to know 
how to extricate himself gallantly from a false position, as that of a man 
generally is who comes up and mingles with people he is scarcely ac- 
quainted with, and in a conversation that does not concern him. He 
was seeking in his mind, then, for the least awkward means of retreat, 
when he remarked that Aramis had let his handkerchief fall, and, by 
mistake, no doubt, had placed his foot upon it, and it appeared a favour- 
able opportunity to repair his intrusion : he stooped, and with the most 
gracious air he could assume, drew the handkerchief from under the foot 
of the musketeer, in spite of the efforts the latter made to detain it, and 
holding it out to him, said : 


by Google 


" I believe, monsieur, that this is a handkerchief you would be sorry 
to lose ?" 

The handkerchief was, in fact, richly embroidered, and had a coronet 
and arms at one of its corners. A ram is blushed excessively, and 
snatched rather than took the handkerchief from D'Artagnan's hand. 

" Ah ! ah !" cried one of the guards, " will you persist in saying, most 
discreet Aramis, that you are not on good terms with Madame de Bois- 
Tracy, when that gracious lady has the kindness to lend you her hand- 

Aramis darted at D'Artagnan one of those looks which inform a man 
that he has acquired a mortal enemy ; then, resuming his mild air, — 

" You are deceived, gentlemen," said he, " this handkerchief is not 
mine, and I cannot fancy why monsieur has taken it into his head to 
offer it to me rather than to one of you, and as a proof of what I say, 
here is mine in my pocket." 

So saying, he pulled out his own handkerchief, which was likewise a 
very elegant handkerchief, and of fine cambric, though cambric was then 
dear, but a handkerchief with embroidery and without arms, only orna- 
mented with a single cipher, that of the musketeer. 

This time D'Artagnan was not hasty, he perceived his mistake ; but 
the friends of Aramis were not at all convinced by his assertion, and one 
of them, addressing the young musketeer with affected seriousness, — 

" If it were as you pretend it is," said he, " I should be forced, my 
dear Aramis, to reclaim it myself ; for, as you very well know, Bois- 
Tracy is an intimate friend of mine, and I cannot allow the property of 
his wife to be sported as a trophy." 

" You make the demand badly," replied Aramis ; "and whilst acknow- 
ledging the justice of your reclamation, I refuse it on account of the 

" The fact is," hazarded D'Artagnan timidly, "I did not see the hand- 
kerchief fall from the pocket of M. Aramis. He had his foot upon it, 
that is all, and I thought from his having his foot upon it, the handker- 
chief was his." 

" And, you were deceived, my dear sir," replied Aramis, coldly, very 
little sensible to the reparation ; then turning towards that one of the 
guards who had declared himself the friend of Bois-Tracy ; — " Besides," 
continued he, " I have reflected, my dear intimate friend of Bois-Tracy, 
that I am not less tenderly his friend than you can possibly be, so that 
decidedly this handkerchief is as likely to have fallen from your pocket 
as mine r 

" No, upon my honour !" cried his majesty's guard. 

" You are about to swear upon your honour and I upon my word, and 
then it will be pretty evident that one of us will have lied. Now, here, 
Montaran, we will do better than that, let each take a half." 

"Of the handkerchief?" 


" Perfectly just," cried the two other guards, — " the judgment of King 
Solomon ! Aramis, you certainly are cram-full of wisdom !" 


by Google 


The young men burst into a loud laugh, and, as may be supposed, the 
affair had no other consequence. In a moment or two the conversation 
ceased, and the three guards and the musketeer, after having cordially 
shaken hands, separated, the guards going one way, and Aramis 

" Now is my time to make my peace with this gentleman," said 
D'Artagnan to himself, having stood on one side during the whole of the 
latter part of the conversation ; and with this good feeling drawing 
near to Aramis, who was going without paying any attention to 
him, — 

" Monsieur," said he, "you will excuse me, I hope." 

" Ah ! monsieur," interrupted Aramis, " permit me to observe to you, 
that you have not acted in this affair as a man of good breeding ought 
to have done." 

" What, monsieur !" cried D'Artagnan, " you suppose " 

" I suppose, monsieur, that you are not a fool, and that you knew 
very well, although coming from Gascony, that people do not tread upon 
pocket-handkerchiefs without a reason. What the devil ! Paris is not 
paved with cambric !" 

" Monsieur, you act wrongly in endeavouring to mortify me," said 
D'Artagnan, with whom the natural quarrelsome spirit began to speak 
more loudly than his pacific resolutions. " I am from Gascony, it is 
true ; and since you know it, there is no occasion to tell you that Gas- 
cons are not very enduring, so that when they have begged to be excused 
once, were it even for a folly, they are convinced that they have done 
already at least as much again as they ought to have done." 

" Monsieur, what I say to you about the matter," said Aramis, " is 
not for the sake of seeking a quarrel. Thank God ! I am not a spadasin, 
and, being a musketeer but for a time, I only fight when I am forced to 
do so, and always with great repugnance ; but this time the affair is 
serious, for here is a lady compromised by you." 

" By us, you mean," cried D'Artagnan. 

" Why did you so injudiciously restore me the handkerchief ?" 

" Why did you so awkwardly let it fall ?' 

" I have said, monsieur, that the handkerchief did not fall from my 

" Well, and by saying so, you have lied twice, monsieur, for I saw it 

" Oh, oh ! you take it up in that way, do you, Master Gascon ? Well, 
I will teach you how to behave yourself. " 

" And I will send you back to your mass-book, Master Abbe\ Draw, 
if you please, and instantly " 

" Not so, if you please, my good friend, not here, at least. Do you 
not perceive that we are opposite the Hotel d'Arguillon, which is full of 
the cardinal's creatures ? How do I know that it is not his eminence 
who has honoured you wich the commission to bring him in my head? 
Now I entertain a ridiculous partiality for my head, it seems to suit my 
shoulders so admirably, I have no objection to lolling you, depend 


Digitized by VjOOQIC 


upon that, but quietly, in a snug remote place, where you will not be 
able to boast of your death to anybody." 

u I agree, monsieur, but do not be too confident. Take away your 
handkerchief ; whether it belongs to you or another, you may, perhaps, 
stand in need of it" 

" Monsieur is a Gascon ?" asked Aramis. 

" Yes. Monsieur does not postpone an interview through prudence T 

u Prudence, monsieur, is a virtue sufficiently useless to musketeers, 
I know, but indispensable to churchmen ; and as I am only a mus- 
keteer provisionally, I hold it good to be prudent At two o'clock, I 
shall have the honour of expecting you at the hotel of M. de Tre'ville. 
There I will point out to you the best place and time." 

The two young men bowed and separated, Aramis ascending the street 
which led to the Luxembourg, whilst D'Artagnan, perceiving the ap- 
pointed hour was approaching, took the road to the Cannes- Deschaux, 
saying to himself, " Decidedly I can't draw back ; but at least, if I am 
killed, I shall be killed by a musketeer !" 



D'Artagnan was acquainted with nobody in Paris. He went, there- 
fore, to his appointment with Athos, without a second, determined to be 
satisfied with those his adversary should choose. Besides, his intention 
was formed to make the brave musketeer all suitable apologies, but 
without meanness or weakness, fearing that that might result from this 
duel which generally results from an affair of the kind, when a young 
and vigorous man fights with an adversary who Is wounded and weak- 
ened : if conquered, he doubles the triumph of his antagonist ; if a con- 
queror, he is accused of foul play and want of courage. 

Now, we must have badly painted the character of our adventurer, 
or our readers must have already perceived that D'Artagnan was not a 
common man ; therefore, whilst repeating to himself that his death 
was inevitable, he did not make ughis mind to die so quietly as another, 
less courageous and less moderate than he, might have done in his 
place. He reflected upon the different characters of the men he had to 
fight with, and began to view his situation more clearly. He hoped, by 
means of loyal excuses, to make a friend of Athos, whose nobleman air 
and austere courage pleased him much. He flattered himself he should 
be able to frighten Porthos with the adventure of the baldrick, which 
he might, if not killed upon the spot, relate to everybody — a recital 
which, well managed, would cover Porthos with ridicule ; as to the 
astute Aramis, he did not entertain much dread of him, and if he 
should be able to get so far as him, he determined to despatch him in 
good style, or, at least, by hitting him in the face, as Caesar recom- 
mended his soldiers to do to those of Pompey, damage the beauty of 
which he was so proud for ever. 


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In addition to this, D'Artagnan possessed that invincible stock of reso- 
lution which the counsels of his father had implanted in his heart — 
Endure nothing from any one but the king, the cardinal, and M. de 
Tre'ville. He flew, then, rather than walked, towards the convent of the 
Cannes Dachau sse*s, or rather Dechaux, as it was called at that period, 
a sort of building without a window, surrounded by barren fields, an 
accessory to the Pre*-aux-Clercs, and which was generally employed as 
the place for the rencontres of men who had no time to lose. 

When D'Artagnan arrived in sight of the bare spot of ground which 
extended along the foot of the monastery, Athos had been waiting about 
five minutes, and twelve o'clock was striking ; he was, then, as punctual 
as the Samaritan woman, and the most rigorous casuist with regard to 
duels could have nothing to say. 

Athos, who still suffered grievously from his wound, though it had 
been dressed by M. de Tre*ville's surgeon at nine, was seated on a post 
and waiting for his adversary with that placid countenance and that 
noble air which never forsook him. At sight of D'Artagnan, he arose, 
and came politely a few steps to meet him. The latter, on his side, 
saluted his adversary with hat in hand, and his feather even touching 
the ground. 

" Monsieur," said Athos, " I have engaged two of my friends as 
seconds ; but these two friends are not yet come, at which I am as- 
tonished, as it is not at all their custom to be behindhand." 

" I have no seconds on my part, monsieur," said D'Artagnan ; u for, 
having only arrived yesterday in Paris, I as yet know no one but M. 
de Tre'ville, to whom I was recommended by my father, who has the 
honour to be, in some degree, one of his friends. 

Athos reflected for an instant 

" You know no one but M. de Tre'ville r" he asked. 

u No, monsieur ; I only know him. M 

" Well, but then," continued Athos, speaking partly to himself, " well, 
but then, if I kill you, I shall have the air of a boy-slayer.'' 

" Not too much so," replied D'Artagnan, with a bow that was not de- 
ficient in dignity, " not too much so, since you do me the honour to draw 
a sword with me whilst suffering from a wound which is very painful." 

" Very painful, upon my word, and you hurt me devilishly, I can tell 
you ; but I will take the left hand — I usually do so in such circum- 
stances. Do not fancy that I favour you— I use both hands equally; 
and it will be even a disadvantage to you — a left-handed man is very 
troublesome to people who are not used to it. I regret I did not inform 
you sooner of this circumstance." 

" You are truly, monsieur," said D'Artagnan, bowing again, " of a 
courtesy, for which, I assure you, I am very grateful." 

" You confuse me," replied Athos, with his gentlemanly air ; " let us 
talk of something else, if you please. Ah, sang Dieu / now you have 
hurt me I my shoulder quite burns." 

"If you would permit me ," said D'Artagnan, with timidity. 

"What, monsieur?" 



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e: I have a miraculous balsam for wounds— a balsam given to me by 
mv mother, and of which I have made a trial upon myself." 


u Well, I am sure that in less than three days this balsam would cure 
you ; and at the end of three days, when you would be cured— well, sir, 
it would still do me a great honour to be your man." 

D'Artagnan spoke these words with a simplicity that did honour to 
his courtesy, without throwing the least doubt upon his courage. 

" Pardieu, monsieur !" said Athos, " that's a proposition that pleases 
me ; not that I accept it, but it savours of the gentleman a league off. 
It was thus that spoke the gallant knights of the time of Charlemagne, 
in whom every knight ought to seek his model. Unfortunately, we do 
not live in the time of the great emperor ; we live in the times of Mon- 
sieur the Cardinal, and three days hence, however well the secret might 
be guarded, it would be known, I say, that we were to fight, and our 
combat would be prevented. I think these fellows will never come." 

" If you are in haste, monsieur," said D'Artagnan, with the same sim- 
plicity with which a moment before he had proposed to him to put off 
the duel for three days, ** if you are in haste, and if it be your will to 
despatch me at once, do not inconvenience yourself— I am ready." 

" Well, that is again well said/' cried Athos, with a gracious nod to 
D'Artagaan, that did not come from a man without brains, and certainly 
not from a man without a heart. " Monsieur, I love men of your kidney, 
and I foresee plainly that, if we don't kill each other, I shall hereafter 
have much pleasure in your conversation. We will wait for these 
gentlemen, it you please ; I have plenty of time, and it will be more 
correct. Ah ! here is one of them, I think." 

In fact, at the end of the Rue Vanguard, the gigantic form of Porthos 
began to appear. 

" What r cried D'Artagnan, " is your first second M. Porthos ?" 

" Yes. Is that unpleasant to you ?" 

" Oh, not at all." 

" And here comes the other." 

D'Artagnan turned in the direction pointed to by Athos, and per- 
ceived Aramis. 

" What !" cried he, in an accent of greater astonishment than before, 
" is your second witness M. Aramis ?" 

" Doubtless he is. Are you not aware that we are never seen one 
without the others, and that we are called in the musketeers and the 
guards, at court and in the city, Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, or the 
three inseparables ? And yet, as you come from Dax or Pau "' 

" From Tarbes," said D'Artagnan. 

" It is probable you are ignorant of this circumstance," said Athos. 

* MafoiP* replied D'Artagnan, " you are well named, gentlemen, and 
my adventure, if it should make any noise, will prove at least that your 
union is not founded upon contrasts." 

In the meantime Porthos had come up, waved his hand to Athos, 
and then turning towards D'Artagnan, stood quite astonished. 


by Google 


Permit us to say, in passing, that he had changed his baldrick, and 
was without his cloak. 

44 Ah ? ah !" said he, " what does this mean ?" 

14 This is the gentleman I am going to fight with," said Athos, pointing 
to D'Artagnan with his hand, and saluting him with the same gesture. 

44 Why, it is with him I am also going to fight," said Porthos. 

" But not before one o'clock/' replied D'Artagnan. 

"Well, and I also am going to fight with that gentleman/' said 
Aramis, coming on to the ground as he spoke. 

44 But not till two o'clock/' said D'Artagnan, with the same calmness. 

44 But what are you going to fight about, Athos ?" asked Aramis. 

44 Ma foil I don't very well know ; he hurt my shoulder. And you, 
Porthos r 

44 Mafoi / lam going to fight, because I am going to fight," answered 
Porthos, colouring deeply. 

Athos, whose keen eye lost nothing, perceived a faintly sly smile pass 
over the lips of the young Gascon, as he replied : 

44 We had a short discussion upon dress." 

44 And you, Aramis ?" asked Athos. 

44 Oh, ours is a theological quarrel," replied Aramis, making a sign to 
D'Artagnan to keep secret the cause of their dispute. . 

Athos saw a second smile on the lips of D'Artagnan. 

44 Indeed ?" said Athos. 

44 Yes ; a passage of St. Augustin, upon which we could not agree," 
said the Gascon. 

44 By Jove ! this is a clever fellow," murmured Athos. 

"And now you are all assembled, gentlemen," said D'Artagnan, 
44 permit me to offer you my excuses." 

At this word excuses, a cloud passed over the brow of Athos, a 
haughty smile curled the lip of Porthos, and a negative sign was the 
reply of Aramis. 

44 You do not understand me, gentlemen," said D'Artagnan, throwing 
up his head, the sharp and bold lines of which were at the moment 
gilded by a bright sun ray. " I ask to be excused in case I should not 
be able to discharge my debt to all three ; for M. Athos has the right 
to kill me first, which must abate your valour in your own estimation, 
M. Porthos, and render yours almost null, M. Aramis. And now, 
gentlemen, I repeat, excuse me, but on that account only, and — guard P 

At these words, with the most gallant air possible, D'Artagnan drew 
his sword. 

The blood had mounted to the head of D'Artagnan, and at that 
moment he would have drawn his sword against all the musketeers in 
the kingdom, as willingly as he now did against Athos, Porthos, and 

It was a quarter past mid-day. The sun was in its zenith, and the 
spot chosen for the theatre of the duel was exposed to its full power. 

44 It is very hot," said Athos, drawing his sword in his turn, "and yet 
I cannot take off my doublet ; for I just now felt my wound begin to 


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bleed again, and I should not like to annoy monsieur with the sight of 
blood which he has not drawn from me himself." 

11 That is true, monsieur/' replied D'Artagnan, " and, whether drawn 
by myself or another, I assure you I shall always view with regret the 
blood of so brave a gentleman ; I will therefore fight in my doublet, as 
you do." 

" Come, come, enough of compliments," cried Porthos ; " please to 
remember we are waiting for our turns." 

"Speak for yourself, when you are inclined to utter such incon- 
gruities," interrupted Aramis. " For my part, I think what they say is 
very well said, and quite worthy of two gentlemen." 

" When you please, monsieur," said Athos, putting himself on guard. 

" I waited your orders," said D'Artagnan, crossing swords. 

But scarcely had the two rapiers sounded on meeting, when a com- 
pany of the guards of his Eminence, commanded by M. de Jussac, turned 
the angle of the convent. 

, " The cardinal's guards ! the cardinal's guards !" cried Aramis and 
Porthos at the same time. " Sheathe swords ! gentlemen ! sheathe 
swords !" 

But it was too late. The two combatants had been seen in a position 
which left no doubt of their intentions. 

" Hola !" cried Jussac, advancing towards them, and making a sign 
to his men to do so likewise, " hola! musketeers, fighting here, then, are 
you ? And the edicts, what is become of them ?" 

" You are very generous, gentlemen of the guards," said Athos, with 
acrimony, for Jussac was one of the aggressors of the preceding day. 
" If we were to see you fighting, I can assure you that we would make 
no effort to prevent you. Leave us alone then, and you will enjoy a little 
amusement without cost to yourselves." 

" Gentlemen," said Jussac, "it is with great regret that I pronounce the 
thing impossible. Duty before everything. Sheathe, then, if you please, 
and follow us." 

" Monsieur," said Aramis, parodying Jussac, "it would afford/us great 
pleasure to obey your polite invitation, if it depended upon ourselves ; 
but, unfortunately, the thing is impossible : M. de TreVille has forbidden 
it. Pass on your way, then ; it is the best thing you can do." 

This raillery exasperated Jussac. 

" We will charge upon you, then," said he, " if you disobey." 

" There are five*of them," said Athos, half aloud, " and we are but 
three ; we shall be beaten again, and must die on the spot, for, on my 
part, I declare I will never appear before the captain again as a con- 
quered man." 

Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, instantly closed in, and Jussac drew up 
his soldiers. 

This short interval was sufficient to determine D'Artagnan on the part 
he was to take ; it was one of those events which decide the life of a 
man ; it was a choice between the king and the cardinal ; the choice 


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made, it must be persisted in. To fight was to disobey the law, to risk 
his head, to make at once an enemy of a minister more powerful than 
the king himself ; all this the young man perceived, and yet, to his 
praise we speak it, he did not hesitate a second. Turning towards Athos 
and his friends, — 

" Gentlemen/' said he, "allow me to correct your words, if you please. 
You said you were but three, but it appears to me we are four." 

" But you are not one of us," said Porthos. 

" That's true," replied D'Artagnan ; " I do not wear the uniform, but I 
am in spirit My heart is that of a musketeer ; I feel it, monsieur, and 
that impels me on." 

a Withdraw, young man," cried Jussac, who, doubtless, by his gestures 
and the expression of his countenance, had guessed D'Artagnan's design. 
" You may retire, we allow you to do so. Save your skin ; begone 

D'Artagnan did not move. 

" Decidedly you are a pretty fellow," said Athos, pressing the young 
man's hand. 

" Come, come, decide one way or the other," replied Tussac. 

" Well," said Porthos to Aramis, " we must do something." 

" Monsieur is very generous," said Athos. 

But all three reflected upon the youth of D'Artagnan, and dreaded his 

" We should only be three, one of whom is wounded, with the addition 
of a boy," resumed Athos, " and yet it will be not the less said we were 
four men." 

H Yes, but to yield !" said Porthos. 

" That's rather difficult," replied Athos. 

D'Artagnan comprehended whence a part of this irresolution arose. 

" Try me, gentlemen," said he, " and I swear to you by my honour 
that I will not go hence if we are conquered." 

" What is your name, my brave fellow ?" said Athos. 

" D'Artagnan, monsieur." 

u Well, then ! Athos, Porthos, Aramis, and D'Artagnan, forward !" 
cried Athos. 

u Come, gentlemen, have you made your minds up ?" cried Jussac, for 
the third time. 

" It is done, gentlemen," said Athos. 

" And what do you mean to do ?" asked Jussac. 

" We are about to have the honour of charging you," replied Aramis, 
lifting his hat with one hand, and drawing his sword with the other. 

" Oh ! you resist, do you !" cried Jussac. 

" Sang Dieu / does that astonish you ?" 

And the nine combatants rushed upon each other with a fury which, 
however, did not exclude a certain degree of method. 

Athos fixed upon a certain Cahusac, a favourite of the cardinal's ; 
Porthos had Bicarat, and Aramis found himself opposed to two adver- 
saries. As to D'Artagnan, he sprang towards Jussac himself. 


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The heart of the young Gascon beat as if it would burst through his 
side, not from fear, God be thanked, — he had not the shade of it, — but 
with emulation ; he fought like a furious tiger, turning ten times round 
his adversary, and changing his ground and his guard twenty times. 
Jussac was, as was then said, a fine blade, and had had much practice ; 
nevertheless, it required all his skill to defend himself against an adver- 
sary, who, active and energetic, departed every instant from received 
rules, attacking him on all sides at once, and yet parrying like a man 
who had the greatest respect for his own epidermis. 

This contest at length exhausted Jussac's patience. Furious at being 
held in check by him whom he had considered a boy, he became warm, 
and began to commit faults. D'Artagnan, who, though wanting in 
practice, had a profound theory, redoubled his agility. Jussac, anxious 
to put an end to this, springing forward, aimed a terrible thrust at his 
adversary, but the latter parried it ; and whilst Jussac was recovering 
himself, glided like a serpent beneath his blade, and passed his sword 
through his body. Jussac fell like a dead mass. 

D'Artagnan then cast an anxious and rapid glance over the field of 

Aramis had killed one of his adversaries, but the other pressed him 
warmly. Nevertheless, Aramis was in a good situation, and able to 
defend himself. 

Bicarat and Porthos had just made counter-hits ; Porthos had re- 
ceived a thrust through his arm, and Bicarat one through his thigh. 
But neither of the wounds was serious, and they only fought the more 
earnestly for them. 

Athos, wounded again by Cahusac, became evidently paler, but did 
not give way a foot : he had only changed his sword-hand, and fought 
with his left hand. 

According to the laws of duelling at that period, D'Artagnan was at 
liberty to assist the one he pleased. Whilst he was endeavouring to find 
out which of his companions stood in greatest need, he caught a glance 
from Athos. This glance was of sublime eloquence. Athos would have 
died rather than appeal for help ; but he could look, and with that look 
ask assistance. D'Artagnan interpreted it ; with a terrible bound, he 
sprang to the side of Cahusac, crying : 
" To me, monsieur ! guard, or I will slay you !" 
Cahusac turned ; it was time, for Athos, whose great courage alone 
supported him, sank upon his knee. 

" SangDieu P cried he to D'Artagnan/* do not kill him, young man, I 
beg of you ; I have an old affair to settle with him, when I am cured 
and sound again. Disarm him only — make sure of his sword ; that's 
it, that's it ! well done ! very well done !" 

This exclamation was drawn from Athos by seeing the sword of 
Cahusac fly twenty paces from him. D'Artagnan and Cahusac sprang 
forward at the same instant, the one to recover, the other to obtain the 
sword ; but D'Artagnan, being the more active, reached it first, and 
placed his foot upon it. 


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Cahusac immediately ran to that of one of the guards that Aramis had 
killed, and returned towards D'Artagnan ; but on his way he met Athos, 
who, during this relief which D'Artagnan had procured him, had re- 
covered his breath, and who, for fear that D'Artagnan should kill his 
enemy, wished to resume the fight. 

D'Artagnan perceived that it would be disobliging Athos not to leave 
him alone ; and in a few minutes Cahusac fell, with a sword-thrust 
through his throat. 

At the same instant Aramis placed his sword-point on the breast of 
his fallen enemy, and compelled him to ask for mercy. 

There only then remained Porthos and Bicarat. Porthos made a 
thousand fanfaronnades, asking Bicarat what o'clock it could be, and 
offering him his compliments upon his brother's having just obtained a 
company in the regiment of Navarre ; but, joke as he might, he gained 
no advantage — Bicarat was one of those iron men who never fall dead. 

Nevertheless, it was necessary to put an end to the affair. The watch 
might come up, and take all the combatants, wounded or not, royalists 
or cardinalists. Athos, Aramis, and D'Artagnan surrounded Bicarat, 
and required him to surrender. Though alone against all, and with a 
wound in his thigh, Bicarat wished to hold out ; but Jussac, who had 
risen upon his elbow, cried out to him to yield. Bicarat was a Gascon, 
as D'Artagnan was ; he turned a deaf ear, and contented himself with 
laughing ; and, between two parries, finding time to point to a spot of 
earth with his sword, - 

" Here," cried he, parodying a verse of the Bible, " here will Bicarat 
die, the only one of those who are with him !" 

u But there are four against you ; leave off, I command you." 

" Ah ! if you command me, that's another thing," said Bicarat ; " you 
being my brigadier, it is my duty to obey." 

And, springing backward, he broke his sword across his knee, to 
avoid the necessity of surrendering it, threw the pieces over the convent 
wall, and crossed his arms, whistling a cardinalist air. 

Bravery is always respected, even in an enemy. The musketeers 
saluted Bicarat with their swords, and returned them to their sheaths. 
D'Artagnan did the same ; then, assisted by Bicarat, the only one left 
standing, he bore Jussac, Cahusac, and that one of Aramis's adversaries 
who was only wounded, under the porch of the convent. The fourth, 
as we have said, was dead. They then rang the bell, and, carrying 
away four swords out of five, they took their road, intoxicated with joy, 
towards the hotel of M. de Tre'ville. 

They walked arm in arm, occupying the whole width of the street, 
and accosting every musketeer they met, so that it in the end became 
a triumphal march. The heart of D'Artagnan swam in delight ; he 
marched between Athos and Porthos, pressing them tenderly. 

" If I am not yet a musketeer," said he to his new friends, as he passed 
through the gateway of M. de TreVille's hotel, " at least I have entered 
upon my apprenticeship, haven't I T 


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This affair made a great noise. M. de Tre'ville scolded his musketeers 
in public, and congratulated them in private ; but as no time was to be 
lost in gaining the king, M. de TreVille made all haste to the Louvre. 
But he was too late : the king was closeted with the cardinal, and M. . 
de Tre'ville was informed that the king was busy, and could not receive 
him. In the evening, M. de Tre'ville attended the king's play-table. 
The king was winning, and, as the king was very avaricious, he was in 
an excellent humour ; thus, perceiving M. de Tre'ville at a distance — 

" Come here, monsieur le capitaine, said he, " come here, that I may 
scold you. Do you know that his eminence has just been to make 
fresh complaints against your musketeers, and that with so much emo- 
tion, that his eminence is indisposed this evening ? Why, these mus- 
keteers of yours are very devils !" 

" No, sire," replied Tre'ville, who saw at the first glance which way 
things would take — " no, sire ; on the contrary, they are good creatures, 
as meek as lambs, and have but one desire, Til be their warranty ; and 
that is, that their swords may never leave their scabbards but in your 
majesty's service. But what are they to do ? the guards of monsieur 
the cardinal are for ever seeking quarrels with them, and for the 
honour of the corps even, the poor young men are obliged to defend 
themselves. ,, 

" Listen to M. de Tre'ville," said the king, "listen to him ! would not 
one say he was speaking of a religious community ! In truth, my dear 
captain, I have a great mind to take away your commission, and give it 
to Mademoiselle de Chemerault, to whom I promised an abbey. But 
don't fancy that I am going to take you on your bare word ; I am called 
Louis the Just, Monsieur de Treville, and by-and-by, by-and-by, we 
will see." 

" Ah ! it is because I have a perfect reliance upon that justice that I 
shall wait patiently and quietly the good pleasure of your majesty." 

" Wait, then, monsieur, wait," said the king ; " I will not detain you 

In fact, fortune changed, and as the king began to lose what he had 
won, he was not sorry to find an excuse for leaving off. The king then 
arose a minute after, and putting the money which lay before him into 
his pocket, the major part of which arose from his winnings — 

" La Vieuville," said he, " take my place ; I must speak to M. de 
Tre'ville on an affair of importance. Ah, I had eighty louis before me ; 
put down the same sum, so that they who have lost may have nothing 
to complain of— justice before everything." Then turning towards M. de 
Treville, and walking with him towards the embrasure of a window— 

" Well, monsieur," continued he, " you say it is his eminence's guards 
who have sought a quarrel with your musketeers F 

" Yes, sire, as they always do." 


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" And how did the thing happen ? let us see, for you know, my dear 
captain, a judge must hear both sides." 

" Good lord ! in the most simple and natural manner possible. Three 
of my best soldiers, whom your majesty knows by name, and whose 
devotedness you have more than once appreciated, and who have, I 
dare affirm to the king, his service much at heart ; three of my best 
soldiers, I say — MM. Athos, Porthos, and Aramis — had made a party 
of pleasure with a young cadet from Gascony, whom I had introduced 
to them the same morning. The party was to take place at St. Ger- 
main, I believe, and they had appointed to meet at the Carmes-Des- 
chaux, when they were disturbed by M. de Jussac, MM. Cahusac, 
fiicarat, and two other guards, who certainly did not go there in such 
a numerous company without some ill intention against the edicts." 

" Ah, ah ! you incline me to think so," said the king : " there is no 
doubt they went thither to fight themselves." 

" I do not accuse them, sire ; but I leave your majesty to judge what 
five armed men could possibly be going to do in such a retired spot as 
the environs of the Convent des Cannes." 

" You are right, Tre"ville — you are right !" 

" Then, upon seeing my musketeers, they changed their minds, and 
forgot their private hatred for the hatred de corps; for your majesty 
cannot be ignorant that the musketeers, who belong to the king, and to 
nobody but the king, are the natural enemies of the guards, who belong 
to the cardinal." 

" Yes, TreVille, yes !" said the king, in a melancholy tone ; " and it is 
very sad, believe me, to see thus two parties in France, two heads to 
royalty. But all this will come to an end, TreVille, will come to an end. 
You say, then, that the guards sought a quarrel with the musketeers T 

" I say that it is probable that things have fallen out so, but I will 
not swear to it, sire. You know how difficult it is to discover the truth ; 
and unless a man be endowed with that admirable instinct which causes 
Louis XIII. to be termed the Just " 

" You are right, TreVille ; but they were not alone, your musketeers 
— they had a youth with them ?" 

" Yes, sire, and one wounded man ; so that three of the king's 
musketeers — one of whom was wounded, and a youth — not only main- 
tained their ground against five of the most terrible of his eminence's 
guards, but absolutely brought four of them to the earth." 

" Why, this is a victory !" cried the king, glowing with delight, " a 
complete victory 1" 

" Yes, sire ; as complete as that of the bridge of Ce." 

" Four men, one of them wounded, and a youth, say you ?" 

"One scarcely attained the age of a young man ; but who, however, 
behaved himself so admirably on this occasion, that I will take the 
liberty of recommending him to your majesty." 

"What is his name?" 

" D'Artagnan, sire ; he is the son of one of my oldest friends— the 


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son of a man who served under your father of glorious memory, in the 
partisan war." 

" And you say that this young man behaved himself well ? Tell me 
how, De TreVille— you know how I delight in accounts of war and 

And Louis XIII. twisted his moustache proudly, placing his hand 
upon his hip. 

" Sire," resumed TreVille, " as I told you, M. d'Artagnan is little more 
than a boy, and as he has not the honour of being a musketeer, he was 
dressed as a private citizen ; the guards of M. the Cardinal, perceiving 
his youth, and still more that he did not belong to the corps, pressed 
him to retire before they attacked." 

" So you may plainly see, TreVille," interrupted the king, " it was 
they who attacked ?" 

^ That is true, sire ; there can be no more doubt on that head. They 
called upon him then to retire, but he answered that he was a musketeer 
at heart, entirely devoted to your majesty, and that he would therefore 
remain with messieurs the musketeers. " 

" Brave young man !" murmured the king. 

" Well, he did remain with them ; and your majesty has in him so 
firm a champion, that it was he who gave Jussac the terrible sword- 
thrust which has made M. the Cardinal so angry." 

" He who wounded Jussac !" cried the king—" he, a boy ! TreVille, 
that's impossible !" 

" It is as I have the honour to relate it to your majesty." 

" Jussac, one of the first swordsmen in the kingdom ?" 

" Well, sire, for once he found his master." 

" I should like to see this young man, TreVille — I should like to see 
him ; and if anything can be done— well, we will make it our business." 

" When will your majesty deign to receive him ?' 

" To-morrow, at mid-day, TreVille." 

" Shall I bring him alone P 

" No ; bring me all four together ; I wish to thank them all at once. 
Devoted men are so rare, TreVille, we must recompense devotedness." 

" At twelve o'clock, sire, we will be at the Louvre." 

" Ah ! by the back staircase, TreVille, by the back staircase ; it is 
useless to let the cardinal know." 

" Yes, sire." 

"You understand TreVille; an edict is still an edict — it is forbidden 
to fight, after all." 

" But this encounter, sire, is quite out of the ordinary conditions of a 
duel ; it is a brawl, and the proof is that there were five of the cardinal's 
guards against my three musketeers and M. d'Artagnan." 

" That is true," said the king ; "but never mind, TreVille, come still 
by the back staircase." 

TreVille smiled. But as it was already something to have prevailed 
upon this child to rebel against his master, he saluted the king respect- 
fully, and, with this agreement, took leave of him. 


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That evening the three musketeers were informed of the honour 
which was granted them. As they had long been acquainted with the 
king, they were not much excited by the circumstance ; but D'Artagnan. 
with his Gascon imagination, saw in it his future fortune, and passed 
the night in golden dreams. As early, then, as eight o'clock he was at 
the apartment of Athos. 

D'Artagnan found the musketeer dressed and ready to go out. As the 
hour to wait upon the king was not till twelve, he had made a party 
with Porthos and Aramis to play a game at tennis, in a tennis-court 
situated near the stables of the Luxembourg. Athos invited D'Artagnan 
to follow them ; and, although ignorant of the game, which he had 
never played, he accepted the invitation, not knowing what to do with 
his time from nine o'clock in the morning, as it then scarcely was, till 

The two musketeers were already there, and were playing together. 
Athos, who was very expert in all bodily exercises, passed with 
D'Artagnan to the opposite side, and challenged them ; but at the first 
effort he made, although he played with his left hand, he found that his 
wound was yet too recent to allow of such exertion. D'Artagnan 
remained, therefore, alone ; and as he declared he was too ignorant of 
the game to play it regularly, they only continued giving balls to each 
other, without counting ; but one of these balls, launched by Porthos' 
Herculean hand, passed so close to D'Artagnan's face, that he thought 
if, instead of passing near, it had hit him, his audience would have been 
probably lost, as it would have been impossible for him to have pre- 
sented himself before the king. Now, as upon this audience, in his 
Gascon imagination, depended his future life, he saluted Aramis and 
Porthos politely, declaring that he would not resume the game until he 
should be prepared to play with them on more equal terms ; and he 
went and took his place near the cord and in the gallery. 

Unfortunately for D'Artagnan, among the spectators was one of his 
eminence's guards, who, still irritated by the defeat of his companions, 
which had happened only the day before, had promised himself to seize 
the first opportunity of avenging it. He believed this opportunity was 
now come, and addressing his neighbour, — 

"It is not astonishing," said he, " that that young man should be 
afraid of a ball ; he is doubtless a musketeer apprentice." 

D'Artagnan turned round as if a serpent had stung him, and fixed 
his eyes intensely upon the guard who had just made this insolent 

"Pardieu /" resumed the latter, twisting his moustache, " look at me 
as long as you like, my little gentleman, I have said what I have said." 

" And as since that which you have said is too clear to require any 
explanation," replied D'Artagnan, in a low voice, " I beg you will follow 

" And when ?" asked the guard, with the same jeering air, 

" Immediately, if you please." 

u And you know who I am, without doubt ?" . i 


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" I ! no, I assure you I am completely ignorant ; nor does it much 
concern me." 

" You're in the wrong there ; for if you knew my name, perhaps you 
would not be in such a hurry." 

" What is your name, then ?" 

" Bernajoux, at your service." 

" Well, then, Monsieur Bernajoux," said D'Artagnan, quietly, " I will 
wait for you at the door." 

" Go on, monsieur, I will follow you." 

" Do not appear to be in a hurry, monsieur, so as to cause it to be 
observed that we go out together ; you must be aware that for that 
which we have in hand company would be inconvenient" 

" That's true," said the guard, astonished that his name had not pro- 
duced more effect upon the young man. 

In fact, the name of Bernajoux was known to everybody, D'Artagnan 
alone excepted, perhaps ; for it was one of those which figured most 
frequently in the daily brawls, which all the edicts of the cardinal had 
not been able to repress. 

Porthos and Aramis were so engaged with their game, and Athos was 
watching them with so much attention, that they did not even perceive 
their young companion go out, who, as he had told his eminence's guard 
he would, stopped outside the door ; an instant after, the guard 
descended. As D'Artagnan had no time to lose, on account of the 
audience of the king, which was fixed for mid-day, he cast his eyes 
around, and seeing that the street was empty, — 

" MafoiP 1 said he to his adversary, "it is fortunate for you, although 
your name is Bernajoux, to have only to deal with an apprentice mus- 
keteer ; never mind, be content, I will do my best — Guard !" 

" But," said he whom D'Artagnan thus provoked, " it appears to me 
that this place is very ill-chosen, and that we should be better behind 
the Abbey St. Germain or in the Pre*-aux- Geres." 

" What you say is very sensible," replied D'Artagnan ; " but unfor- 
tunately, I have very little time to spare, having an appointment at 
twelve precisely. Guard ! then, monsieur, guard !" 

Bernajoux was not a man to have such a compliment paid to him 
twice. In an instant his sword glittered in his hand, and he sprang 
upon his adversary, whom, from his youth, he hoped to intimidate. 

But D'Artagnan had on the preceding day gone through his appren- 
ticeship. Fresh sharpened by his victory, full of the hopes of future 
favour, he was resolved not to give back a step ; so the two swords were 
crossed close to the hilts, and as D'Artagnan stood firm, it was his adver- 
sary who made the retreating step ; but D'Artagnan seized the moment 
at which, in this movement, the sword of Bernajoux deviated from the 
line ; he freed his weapon, made a lunge, and touched his adversary on 
the shoulder. D'Artagnan immediately made a step backwards and 
raised his sword ; but Bernajoux cried out that it was nothing, and 
rushing blindly upon him, absolutely spitted himself upon D'Artagnan's 
sword. As, however, he did not fall, as he did not declare himself con* 


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qucred, but only broke away towards the hotel of M. de Tre*mouille, in 
whose service he had a relation, D'Artagnan was ignorant of the serious- 
ness of the last wound his adversary had received, pressed him warmly, 
and without doubt would soon have completed his work with a third 
blow, when the noise which arose from the street being heard in the 
tennis-court, two of the friends of the guard, who had seen him go out 
after exchanging some words with D'Artagnan, rushed, sword in hand, 
from the court, and fell upon the conqueror. But Athos, Porthos, and 
Aramis quickly appeared in their turn, and the moment the two guards 
attacked their young companion, drove them back. Bernajoux now 
fell, and as the guards were only two against four, they began to cry, 
" To the rescue ! the hotel de Tre*mouille !" At these cries, all who 
were in the hotel rushed out, falling upon the four companions, who, on 
their side, cried aloud, " To the rescue I musketeers 1" 

This cry was generally attended to ; for the musketeers were known 
to be enemies to the Cardinal, and were beloved on account of the 
hatred they bore to his enemies. Thus the guards of other companies 
than those which belonged to the Red Duke, as Aramis had called him, 
in general, in these quarrels took part with the king's musketeers. Of 
three guards of the company of M. Dessessart, who were passing, two 
came to the assistance of the four companions, whilst the other ran 
towards the hotel of M. de TreVille, crying : — " To the rescue ! mus- 
keteers! to the rescue!" As usual, this hotel was full of soldiers of this 
corps who hastened to the succour of their comrades ; the mttie became, 
general, but strength was on the side of the musketeers ; the Cardinal's 
guards and M. de la Tremouille's people retreated into the hotel, the 
doors of which they closed just in time to prevent their enemies from 
entering with them. As to the wounded man, he had been taken in at 
once, and, as we have said, in a very bad state. 

Excitement was at its height among the musketeers and their allies, 
and they even began to deliberate whether they should not set fire to 
the hotel to punish the insolence of M. de la Tremouille's domestics, in 
daring to make a sortie upon the king's musketeers. The proposition 
had been made, and received with enthusiasm, when fortunately eleven 
o'clock struck; D'Artagnan and his companions remembered their 
audience, and as they would very much have regretted that such a feat 
should be performed without them, they succeeded in quieting their 
coadjutors. The latter contented themselves with hurling some paving 
stones against the gates, but the gates were too strong ; they then grew 
tired of the sport ; besides, those who must be considered as the leaders 
of the enterprise had quitted the group and were making their way to- 
wards the hotel of M. de TreVille, who was waiting for them, already 
informed of this fresh disturbance. 

" Quick, to the Louvre," said he, " to the Louvre without losing an 
instant, and let us endeavour to see the king before he is prejudiced by 
the Cardinal : we will describe the thing to him as a consequence of the 
affair of yesterday, and the two will pass off together." 

M. de TreVille, accompanied by his four young men, directed his 


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course towards the Louvre ; but to the great astonishment of the 
captain of the musketeers, he was informed that the king was gone 
stag-hunting in the forest of St. Germain. M. de TreVille required this 
intelligence to be repeated to him twice, and each time his companions 
saw his brow become darker. 

" Had his majesty," asked he, " any intention of holding this hunting 
party yesterday ?" 

" No, your excellency," replied the valet de chambre, " the grand 
veneur came this morning to inform him that he had marked down a 
stag. He, at first, answered that he would not go, but could not resist 
his love of sport, and set out after dinner." 

" Has the king seen the Cardinal ?" asked M. de TreVille. 

" Most probably he has," replied the valet de chambre, " for I saw the 
horses harnessed to his eminence's carriage this morning, and when I 
asked where he was going, I was told to St. Germain." 

" He is beforehand with us," said M. de TreVille. " Gentlemen, I will 
see the king this evening ; but as to you, I do not advise you to risk 
doing so." 

This advice was too reasonable, and, moreover, came from a man 
who knew the king too well, to allow the four young men to dispute it. 
M. de TreVille recommended them each to retire to his apartment, and 
wait for news from him. 

On entering his hotel, M. de TreVille thought it best to be first in 
making the complaint. He sent one of his servants to M. de la 
Tre'mouille with a letter, in which he begged of him to eject the Car- 
dinars guard from his house, and to reprimand his people for their 
audacity in making sortie against the king's musketeers. But M. de la 
Tre'mouille, already prejudiced by his esquire, whose relation, as we 
already know, Bernajoux was, replied that it was neither for M. de 
TreVille nor the musketeers to complain, but on the contrary, he, whose 
people the musketeers had assaulted and whose hotel they had en- 
deavoured to burn. Now, as the debate between these two nobles 
might last a long time, each becoming, naturally, more firm in his own 
opinion, M. de TreVille thought of an expedient, which might terminate 
it quietly ; which was to go himself to M. de la Tre'mouille. 

He repaired, then, immediately to his hotel, and caused himself to be 

The two nobles saluted each other politely, for if no friendship existed 
between them, there was at least esteem. Both were men of courage 
and honour ; and as M. de la Tre'mouille, a protestant, and seeing the 
king seldom, was of no party, he did not, in general, carry any bias into 
his social relations. This time, however, his address, although polite, 
was colder than usual. 

" Monsieur !" said M. de TreVille, " we fancy that we have each cause 
to complain of the other, and I am come to endeavour to clear up this 

" I have no objection," replied M. de la Tre'mouille, " but I warn you 


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that I have inquired well into it, and all the fault lies with your 

" You are too just and reasonable a man, monsieur !" said De Tre'ville, 
u not to accept the proposal I am about to make to you." 

" Make it, monsieur. I am attentive." 

u How is M. Bernajoux, your esquire's relation ?" 

" Why, monsieur, very ill, indeed ! In addition to the sword-thrust 
in his arm, which is not dangerous, he has received another right through 
his lungs, of which the doctor speaks very unfavourably." 

" But is the wounded man sensible ?" 

u Perfectly." 

" Can he speak ?" 

" With difficulty, but he can speak." 

u Well, monsieur, let us go to him ; let us adjure him, in the name of 
the God before whom he is called upon, perhaps quickly, to appear, to 
speak the truth. I will take him for judge in his own cause, monsieur, 
and will believe what he will say." 

M. de la Tre'mouille reflected for an instant, then, as it was difficult 
to make a more reasonable proposal, agreed to it. 

Both descended to the chamber in which the wounded man lay. The 
latter, on seeing these two noble lords who came to visit him, en- 
deavoured to raise himself up in his bed, but he was too weak, and, 
exhausted by the effort, he fell back again almost insensible. 

M. de la Tre'mouille approached him, and made him respire some 
salts, which recalled him to life. Then M. de Tre'ville, unwilling that it 
should be thought that he had influenced the wounded man, requested 
M. de la Tre'mouille to interrogate him himself. 

That which M. de Tre'ville had foreseen, happened. Placed between 
life and death, as Bernajoux was, he had no idea for a moment of con- 
cealing the truth ; and he described to the two nobles the affair exactly 
as it had passed. 

This was all that M. de Tre'ville wanted ; he wished Bernajoux a 
speedy recovery, took leave of M. de la Tre'mouille, returned to his 
hotel, and immediately sent word to the four friends that he awaited 
their company to dinner. 

M. de Tre'ville received very good company, quite anti-card inalist, 
though. It may easily be understood, therefore, that the conversation, 
during the whole of dinner, turned upon the two checks that his 
eminence's guards had received. Now, as D'Artagnan had been the 
hero of these two fights, it was upon him that all the felicitations fell, 
which Athos, Porthos, and Aramis abandoned to him ; not only as good 
comrades, but as men who had so often had their turn, that they coulcl 
very well afford him his. 

Towards six o'clock, M. de Tre'ville announced that it was time to go 
to the Louvre ; but as the hour of audience granted by his majesty was 
past, instead of claiming the entrde by the back-stairs, he placed him- 
self with the four voung men in the antechamber. The king was not 
yet returned from hunting. Our young men had been waiting about 



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half an hour," mingled with the crowd of courtiers, when all the doors 
were thrown open, and his majesty was announced. 

At this announcement, D'Artagnan felt himself tremble to the 
very marrow of his bones. The instant which was about to follow 
would, in all probability, decide his future life. His eyes, therefore, 
were fixed in a sort of agony upon the door through which the king 
would pass. 

Louis XIII. appeared, walking fast ; he was in hunting costume 
covered with dust, wearing large boots, and had a whip in his hand. At 
the first glance, D'Artagnan judged that the mind of the king was stormy. 

This disposition, visible as it was in his majesty, did not prevent the 
courtiers from ranging themselves upon his passage. In royal ante- 
chambers, it is better to be looked upon with an angry eye, than not 
to be looked upon at all The three musketeers, therefore, did not 
hesitate to make a step forward ; D'Artagnan, on the contrary, remained 
concealed behind them ; but although the king knew Athos, Porthos, 
and Aramis personally, he passed before them without speaking or look- 
ing, — indeed, as if he had never seen them before. As for M. deTreville, 
when the eyes of the king fell upon him, he sustained the look with so 
much firmness, that it was the king who turned aside ; after which his 
majesty, grumbling, entered his apartment. 

'• Matters go but badly," said Athos, smiling ; " and we shall not be 
made knights of the order this time." 

" Wait here ten minutes," said M. de Tre*ville ; " and if, at the ex- 
piration of ten minutes, you do not see me come out, return to my 
hotel, for it will be useless for you to wait for me longer." 

The four young men waited ten minutes, a quarter of an hour, twenty 
minutes ; and, seeing that M. de Tre*ville did not return, went away 
very uneasy as to what was going to happen. 

M. de TreVille entered the king's closet boldly, and found his ma- 
jesty in a very ill humour, seated on a faiiteuil y beating his boot with 
the handle of his whip ; which, however, did not prevent his asking, 
with the greatest coolness, after his majesty's health. 

" Bad ! monsieur, — bad ! je m'ennuie /" (I grow weary.) 

This was, in fact, the worst complaint of Louis XIII., who would 
sometimes take one of his courtiers to a window, and say, " Monsieur 
So-and-so, ennuyons-nons ensemble." (Let us weary one another.) 

" How ! your majesty is becoming dull ! Have you not enjoyed the 
pleasures of the chase to-day ?" 

"A fine pleasure, indeed, monsieur ! Upon my soul, everything de- 
generates ; and I don't know whether it is the game leaves no scent, or 
the dogs that have no noses. We started a stag of ten-tine ; we chased 
him for six hours, and when he was near being taken—when St. Simon 
was alreadv putting his horn to his mouth to sound the /iatali—cmck, 
all the pack takes the wrong scent, and sets off after a two-tine. I shall 
be obliged to give up hunting, as I have given up hawking. Ah ! I am 
an unfortunate king, Monsieur de TreVille ! I had but one gerfalcon, 
and he died the day before yesterday." 


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" Indeed, sire, I enter into your annoyance perfectly ; the misfortune 
is great ; but I think you have still a good number of falcons, sparrow- 
hawks, and tiercets." 

" And not a man to instruct them. Falconers are declining ; I know 
no one but myself who is acquainted with the noble art of venery. After 
me it will be all over, and people will hunt with gins, snares, and traps. 
If I had but the time to form pupils ! but there is M. le Cardinal always 
at hand, who does not leave me a moment's repose ; who talks to me 
perpetually about Spain, about Austria, about England ! Ah ! cipropos 
of M. le Cardinal, Monsieur de TreVille, I am vexed with you." 

This was the place at which M. de TreVille waited for the king. He 
knew the king of old, and he knew that all these complaints were but a 
preface— a sort of excitation to encourage himself— and that he had 
now come to his point at last 

"And in what have I been so unfortunate as to displease your 
majesty?" asked M. de TreVille, feigning the most profound asto- 

" Is it thus you perform your charge, monsieur T* continued the 
king, without directfy replying to De Tre'ville's question ; " is it for this 
I name you captain of my musketeers, that they should assassinate a 
man, disturb a whole quarter, and endeavour to set fire to Paris, with- 
out your saying a word ? But yet," continued the king, " without doubt, 
my haste accuses you wrongfully; without doubt the rioters are in 
prison, and you come to tell me justice is done." 

" Sire," replied M. de TreVille, calmly, " I come to demand it of you/* 

"And against whom, pray ?' cried the king. 

" Against calumniators," said M. de TreVille. 

" Ah ! this is something new," replied the king. " Will you tell me 
that your three damned musketeers, Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, and 
your cadet from Beam, have not fallen, like so many furies, upon poor 
Bernajoux, and have not maltreated him in such a fashion that pro- 
bably by this time he is dead ? Will you tell me that they did not lay 
siege to the hotel of the Due de la Tremouille, and that they did not 
endeavour to burn it ? — which would not, perhaps, have been a great 
misfortune in time of war, seeing that it is nothing but a nest of 
Huguenots ; but which is, in time of peace, a frightful example. Tell 
me, now — can you deny all this ?" 

" And who has told you this fine story, sire r" asked De TreVille, 

" Who has told me this fine story, monsieur ? Who should it be but 
him who watches whilst I sleep, who labours whilst I amuse myself, 
who conducts every thing at home and abroad — in Europe as well as in 
France ?" 

" Your majesty must speak of God, without doubt," said M. de Tre*- 
ville; "for I know no one but God that can be so far above your 

" No, monsieur ; I speak of the prop of the state— of my only ser- 
vant — of my only friend— of M. le Cardinal." 



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" His eminence is not his holiness, sire." 

" What do you mean by that, monsieur ?' 

tl That it is only the Pope that is infallible, and that this infallibility 
does not extend to the cardinals." 

" You mean to say that he deceives me— you mean to say that he be- 
trays me ? You accuse him, then ? Come, speak— confess freely that 
you accuse him !" 

" No, sire ; but I say that he deceives himself ; I say that he is ill-in- 
formed ; I say that he has hastily accused your majesty's musketeers, 
towards whom he is unjust, and that he has not obtained his information 
from good sources." 

" The accusation comes from M. de la Tre'mouille, — from the duke 
himself. What do you answer to that ?" 

" I might answer, sire, that he is too deeply interested in the question 
to be a very impartial evidence ; but so far from that, sire, I know the 
duke to be a loyal gentleman, and t refer the matter to him, — but upon 
one condition, sire/' 

" What is that P 

" It is, that your majesty will make him come here, will interrogate 
him yourself, tite~(i-t£te, without witnesses, and that I shall see your 
majesty as soon as you have seen the duke." 

" What then ! and you will be bound," cried the king, " by what M. 
de la Tre'mouille shall say V 

"Yes, sire." 

" You will abide by his judgment ?" 

" Doubtless, I will." 

" And you will submit to the reparation he may require ?" 

" Certainly." 

u La Chesnaye !" cried the king ; " La Chesnaye !" 

Louis XIII.'s confidential valet de chambre, who never left the door, 
entered in reply to the call. 

"La Chesnaye," said the king, "let some one go instantly and find 
M. de la Tre'mouille ; I wish to speak with him this evening." 

" Your majesty gives me your word that you will not see any one 
between M. de la Tre'mouille and me ?" 

" Nobody — by the word of a gentleman." 

41 To-morrow then, sire ?" 

" To-morrow, monsieur." 

41 At what o'clock, please your majesty ?'' 

" At whatsoever time you like/' 

u But I should be afraid of awakening your majesty, if I came too 

" Awaken me ! Do you think I ever sleep, then ? I sleep no longer, 
monsieur. I sometimes dream, that's all. Come, then, as early as you 
like— at seven o'clock ; but beware, if you and your musketeers arc 

" If my musketeers are guilty, sire, the guilty shall be placed in your 
majesty's hands, who will dispose of them at your good pleasure. 


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Does your majesty require anything further ? Speak, I am ready to 

" No, monsieur, no ; I am not called Louis the Just without reason. 
To-morrow, then, monsieur, — to-morrow." 

" Till, then, God preserve your majesty." 

However ill the king might sleep, M. de Tre'ville slept still worse ; he 
had ordered his three musketeers and their companion to be with him 
at half-past six in the morning. He took them with him, without 
encouraging them or promising them anything, and without concealing 
from them that their favour, and even his own, depended upon this cast 
of the dice. 

When arrived at the bottom of the back-stairs, he desired them to 
wait If the king was still irritated against them, they would depart 
without being seen ; if the king consented to see them, they would only 
have to be called. 

On arriving at the king's private antechamber, M. de Tre'ville found 
La Chesnaye, who informed him that they had not been able to find M. 
de la Tre'mouille on the preceding evening at his hotel, that he came in 
100 late to present himself at the Louvre, that he had only that moment 
arrived, and that he was then with the king. 

This circumstance pleased M. de Tre'ville much, as he thus became 
certain that no foreign suggestion could insinuate itself between M. de 
la Tre'mouille's deposition and himself. 

In fact, ten minutes had scarcely passed away, when the door of the 
king's closet opened, and M. de Tre'ville saw M. de la Tr^mouille come 
out ; the duke came straight up to him, and said : 

" M. de Tre'ville, his majesty has just sent for me in order to inquire 
respecting the circumstances which took place yesterday at my hotel. 
I have told him the truth, that is to say, that the fault lay with my 
people, and that I was ready to offer you my excuses. Since I have the 
good fortune to meet you, I beg you to receive them, and to consider 
me always as one of your friends." 

" Monsieur le Due," said M. de Tre'ville, " I was confident of your 
loyalty, that I required no other defender before his majesty than your- 
self. I find that I have not been mistaken, and I am gratified to think 
that there is still one man in France of whom may be said, without dis- 
appointment, what I have said of you." 

•' That's well said," said the king, who had heard all these compli- 
ments through the open door ; " only tell him, Tre'ville, since he wishes 
to be considered as your friend, that I also wish to be one of his, but he 
neglects me ; that it is nearly three years since I have seen him, and 
that I never do see him unless I send for him. Tell him all this for 
me, for these are things which a king cannot say himself." 

" Thanks, sire, thanks," said M. de la Tre'mouille ; " but your majesty 
may be assured that it is not those — I do not speak of M. de Tre'ville — 
that it is not those whom your majesty sees at all hours of the day that 
are the most devoted to you." 

" ^h ! you heard what I said ? so much the better, duke, so much th$ 


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better," said the king, advancing towards the door. "Ah ! that's you, 
TreVille. Where are your musketeers ? I told you the day before yes- 
terday to bring them with you, why have you not done so ?" 

" They are below, sire, and with your permission La Chesnaye will 
tell them to come up." 

41 Yes, yes, let them come up immediately ; it is nearly eight o'clock, 
and at nine I expect a visit Go, monsieur ie due, and return often. 
Come in, TreVille." 

The duke bowed and retired. At the moment he opened the door, 
the three musketeers and D'Artagnan, conducted by La Chesnaye, 
appeared at the top of the staircase. 

44 Come in, my braves," said the king, " come in ; I am going to scold 

The musketeers advanced, bowing, D'Artagnan following closely 
behind them. 

44 How the devil !" continued the king, 44 seven of his eminence's 
guards placed hors de combat by you four in two days ! That's too, many, 
gentlemen, too many ! If you go on so, his eminence will be forced to 
renew his company in three weeks, and I to put the edicts in force in 
all their rigour. One, now and then, I don't say much about ; but 
seven in two days, I repeat, it is too many, it is far too many !" 

44 Therefore, sire, your majesty sees that they are come quite contrite 
and repentant to offer you their excuses." 

44 Quite contrite and repentant ! Hem !" said the king, " I place no 
confidence in their hypocritical faces ; in particular, there is one yonder 
of a Gascon look. Come hither, monsieur." 

D'Artagnan, who understood that it was to him this compliment was 
addressed, approached, assuming a most deprecating air. 

41 Why, you told me he was a young man ? This is a boy, TreVille, a 
mere boy ! Do you mean to say that it was he who bestowed that 
severe thrust upon Jussac ? And those two equally fine thrusts upon 
Bernajoux ?" 
44 Truly !" 

44 Without reckoning," said Athos, 44 that if he had not rescued me 
from the hands of Cahusac, I should not now have the honour of 
making my very humble reverences to your majesty." 

44 Why this Bearnais is a very devil ! Ventre-saint-gris ! Monsieur 
de TreVille, as the king my father would have said. But at this sort of 
work, many doublets must be slashed and many swords broken. Now 
Gascons are always poor, are they not ?" 

44 Sire, I can assert that they have hitherto discovered no gold mines 
in their mountains ; though the Lord owes them this miracle in recom- 
pense of the manner in which they supported the pretensions of the 
king, your father." 

44 Which is to say, that the Gascons made a king of me, myself, see- 
ing that I am my father's son, is it not, TreVille ? Well, in good faith, 
I don't say nay to it. La Chesnaye, go and see if, by rummaging all 
my pockets, you can find forty pistoles ; and if you can find them, bring 


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them to me. And now, let us see, young man, with your hand upon 
your conscience, how did all this come to pass ?" 

D'Artagnan related the adventure of the preceding day in all its 
details : how, not having been able to sleep for the joy he felt in the ex- 
pectation of seeing his majesty, he had gone to his three friends three 
hours before the hour of audience ; how they had gone together to the 
fives-court, and how, upon the fear he had manifested of receiving a ball 
in the face, he had been jeered at by Bernajoux, who had nearly paid 
for his jeer with his life, and M. de la Tremouille, who had nothing to 
do with the matter, with the loss of his hotel. 

" This is all very well," murmured the king ; " yes, this is just the 
account the duke gave me of the affair. Poor cardinal ! seven men in 
two days, and those of his very best ! but that's quite enough, gentle- 
men ; please to understand, that's enough : you have taken your re- 
venge, for the Rue Ferou, and even exceeded it ; you ought to be 
satisfied/ 1 

" If your majesty is so," said TreVille, " we are." 

" Oh, yes, I am," added the king, taking a handful of gold from La 
Chesnaye, and putting it into the hand of D'Artagnan. " Here," said 
he, u is a proof of my satisfaction." 

At this period, the ideas of pride which are in fashion in our days, 
did not yet prevail. A gentleman received, from hand to hand, money 
from the king, and was not the least in the world humiliated. D'Ar- 
tagnan put his forty pistoles into his pocket without any scruple ; on the 
contrary, thanking his majesty greatly. 

" There," said the king, looking at a clock, " there, now, as it is half- 
past eight, you may retire ; for, as I told you, I expect some one at 
nine. Thanks for your devotedness, gentlemen. I may continue to 
rely upon it, may I not ?" 

" On, sir !" cried the four companions, with one voice, " we would 
allow ourselves to be cut to pieces in your majesty's service !" 

" Well, well, but keep whole : that will be better, and you will be 
more useful to me. TreVille," added the king, in a low voice, as the 
others were retiring, " as you have no room in the musketeers, and as 
we have besides decided that a noviciate is necessary before entering 
that corps, place this young man in the company of the guards of M. 
Dessessart, your brother-in-law. Ah! Pardieu ! I enjoy beforehand the 
face the cardinal will make ; he will be furious I but I don't care ; I am 
doing what is right" 

And the king waved his hand to TreVille, who left him and rejorned 
the musketeers, whom he found sharing the forty pistoles with D'Ar- 

And the cardinal, as his majesty had said, was really furious, so furi- 
ous that during eight days he absented himself from the king's play- 
table, which did not prevent the king from being as complacent to him 
as possible, or whenever he met him from asking in the kindest tone : 

" Well, monsieur the cardinal, how fares it with that poor Jussac,and 
that poor Bernajoux of yours 7* 


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WHEN D'Artagnan was out of the Louvre, and consulted his friends 
upon the use he had best make of his share of the forty pistoles, Athos 
advised him to order a good repast at the Pomme-de-Pin, Porthos to 
engage a lackey, and Aramis to provide himself with a suitable mistress. 

The repast was carried into effect that very day, and the lackey 
waited at table. The repast had been ordered by Athos, and the lackey 
furnished by Porthos. He was a Picard, whom the glorious musketeer 
had picked up on the bridge De la Tournelle, making his rounds and 
spitting in the water. 

Porthos pretended that this occupation was a proof of a reflective 
and contemplative organisation, and he had brought him away without 
any other recommendation. The noble carriage of this gentleman, on 
whose account he believed himself to be engaged, had seduced Planchet 
—that was the name of the Picard : — he felt a slight disappointment, 
however, when he saw that the place was already taken by a compeer 
named Mousqueton, and when Porthos signified to him that the state 
of his household, though great, would not support two servants, and 
that he must enter into the service of D'Artagnan. Nevertheless, when 
lie waited at the dinner given by his master, and saw him take out a 
handful of gold to pay for it, he believed his fortune made, and returned 
thanks to Heaven for having thrown him into the service of such a 
Croesus ; he preserved this opinion even after the feast, with the rem- 
nants of which he repaired his long abstinences. But when in the 
evening he made his master's bed, the chimaeras of Planchet faded away. 
The bed was the only one in the apartments, which consisted of an 
antechamber and a bedroom. Planchet slept in the antechamber upon 
a coverlet taken from the bed of D\Artagnan, and which D'Artagnan 
from that time made shift without. 

Athos, on his part, had a valet whom he had trained in his service in 
a perfectly peculiar fashion, and who was named Grimaud. He was 
very taciturn, this worthy signor. Be it understood we are speaking of 
Athos. During the five or six years that he had lived in the strictest 
intimacy with his companions, Porthos and Aramis, they could re- 
member having often seen him smile, but had never heard him laugh. 
His words were brief and expressive — conveying all that was meant — 
and no more : no embellishments, no embroidery, no arabesques. His 
conversation was a fact without any episodes. 

Although Althos was scarcely thirty years old, and was of great per- 
sonal beauty, and intelligence of mind, no one knew that he had ever 
had a mistress. He never spoke of women. He certainly did not pre- 
vent others from speaking of them before him, although it was easy to . 
perceive that this kind of conversation, in which he only mingled by 
bitter words and misanthropic remarks, was perfectly disagreeable to 
him. His reserve, his roughness, and his silence made almost an old 
man of him ; he had then, in order not to disturb his habits, accustomed 


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Grimaud to obey him upon a simple gesture, or upon the mere move- 
ment of his lips. He never spoke to him but upon most extraordinary 

Sometimes Grimaud, who feared his master as he did fire, whilst 
entertaining a strong attachment to his person, and a great veneration 
for his talents, believed he perfectly understood vhat he wanted, flew 
to execute the order received, and did precisely the contrary. Athos 
then shrugged his shoulders, and without putting himself in a passion, 
gave Grimaud a good thrashing. On these days he spoke a little. 

Porthos, as we have seen, was of a character, exactly opposite to that 
of Athos : he not only talked much, but he talked loudly ; little caring, 
we must render him that justice, whether an) body listened to him or 
not; he talked for the pleasure of talking, and for the pleasure cf 
hearing himself talk ; he spoke upon all subjects except the science* , 
alleging in this respect, the inveterate hatred he had borne to the 
learned from his childhood. He had not so noble an air as Athos, and 
the consciousness of his inferiority in this respect had, at the com- 
mencement of their intimacy, often rendered him unjust towards that 
gentleman, whom he endeavoured to eclipse by his splendid dress. But 
with his simple musketeer's uniform and nothing but the manner in 
which he threw back his head and advanced his foot, Athos instantly 
took the place which was his due, and consigned the ostentatious 
Porthos to the second rank. Porthus consoled himself by filling the 
antechamber of M. de TreVille and the guard- room of the Louvre with 
the accounts of his bonnes fortunes, of which Athos never spoke, and 
at the present moment, after having passed from the noblesse of the 
robe to the noblesse of the sword, from the lawyei's dame to the baron- 
ess, there was question of nothing less with Porthos than a foreign 
princess, who was enormously fond of him. 

An old proverb says, " Like master like man." Let us pass then from 
the valet of Athos to the valet of Porthos, from Grimaud to Mous- 

Mousqueton was a Norman, whose pacific name of Boniface his master 
had changed into the infinitely more sonorous one of Mousqueton. He 
had entered Porthos's service upon condition that he should only be 
clothed and lodged, but in a handsome manner ; he claimed but two 
hours a day to himself, to consecrate to an employment which would 
provide for his other wants. Porthos agreed to the bargain ; the thing 
suited him wonderfully well. He had doublets for Mousqueton cut out 
of his old clothes and cast-off cloaks, and thanks to a very intelligent 
tailor, who made his clothes look as good as new by turning them, and 
whose wife was suspected of wishing to make Porthos descend from 
his aristocratic habits, Mousqueton made a very good figure when 
attending on his master. 

As for Aramis, of whom we believe we have sufficiently explained the 
character, a character besides which, like that of his companions, we 
shall be able to follow in its development, his lackey was called Bazin. 
Thanks to the hopes which his master entertained of some day entering 


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into orders, he was always clothed in black, as became the servant of a 
churchman. This was a Berrichon of from thirty-five to forty years of 
age, mild, peaceable, sleek, employing the leisure his master left him in 
the perusal of pious works, providing rigorously for two, a dinner of few 
dishes, but excellent. For the rest, he was dumb, blind, and deaf, and 
of unimpeachable fidelity. 

And now that we are acquainted, superficially at least, with the masters 
and the valets, let us pass on to the dwellings occupied by each of 

Athos dwelt in the Rue Fe*rou, within two steps of the Luxembourg : 
his apartments consisted of two small chambers, very nicely fitted up, 
in a furnished house, the hostess of which, still young, and still really 
handsome, cast tender glances uselessly at him. Some fragments of 
great past splendour appeared here and there upon the walls of this 
modest lodging ; a sword, for example, richly damascened, which be- 
longed by its make to the times of Francis I., the hilt of which alone, 
incrusted with precious stones, might be worth two hundred pistoles, 
and which, nevertheless, in his moments of greatest distress, Athos had 
never pledged or offered for sale. This sword had long been an object 
of ambition for Porthos. Porthos would have given ten years of his 
life to possess this sword. 

One day, when he had an appointment with a duchess, he endea- 
voured even to borrow it of Athos. Athos, without saying anything, 
emptied his pockets, got together all his jewels, purses, aiguillettes, and 
gold chains, and offered them all to Porthos ; but as to the sword, he 
said, it was sealed to its place, and should never quit it, until its master 
should himself quit his lodgings. In addition to the sword there was a 
portrait representing a nobleman of the time of Henry III., dressed 
with the greatest elegance, and who wore the order of the Holy Ghost ; 
and this portrait had with Athos certain resemblances of lines, certain 
family likenesses, which indicated that this great noble, a knight of the 
orders of the king, was his ancestor. 

Besides these, a casket of magnificent goldsmith's work, with the same 
arms as the sword and the portrait, formed a middle ornament to the 
mantel-piece, which assorted badly with the rest of the furniture. Athos 
always carried the key of this coffer about him, but he one day opened 
it before Porthos, and Porthos was convinced that this coffer contained 
nothing but letters and papers,— love letters and family papers, no 

Porthos lived in apartments, large in size, and of a very sumptuous 
appearance, in the Rue du Vieux-Colombier. Every time he passed 
with a friend before his windows, at one of which Mousqueton was sure 
to be placed in full livery, Porthos raised his head ana his hand, and 
said, " That is my abode F But he was never to be found at home, he 
never invited anybody to go up with him, and no one could form an 
idea of what these sumptuous apartments contained in the shape of real 

As to Aramis, he dwelt in a little lodging composed of a boudoir, an 


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eating-room, and a bed-room, which room, situate, as the others were, 
on the ground-floor, looked out upon a little, fresh, green garden, shady 
and impenetrable to the eyes of his neighbours. 

With regard to D'Artagnan, we know how he was lodged, and we have 
already made acquaintance with his lackey, Master Planchet. 

D'Artagnan, who was by nature very curious, as people generally are 
who possess the genius of intrigue, did all he could to make out who 
Athos, Porthos, and Aramis really were ; for under these notns de guerre y 
each of these young men concealed his family name. Athos in par- 
ticular, who savoured of the noble a league off. He addressed himself 
then to Porthos, to gain information respecting Athos and Aramis, and 
to Aramis, in order to learn something of Porthos. 

Unfortunately Porthos knew nothing of the life of his silent companion 
but that which had transpired. It was said he had met with great 
crosses in an affair of the heart, and that a frightful treachery had for 
ever poisoned the life of this gallant young man. What could this 
treachery be ? All the world was ignorant of it. 

As to Porthos, except his real name, which no one but M. de Tre'ville 
was acquainted with, as well as with those of his two comrades, his life 
was very easily known. Vain and indiscreet, it was as easy to see 
through him as through a crystal. The only thing to mislead the in- 
vestigator would have been for him to believe all the good he said of 

With respect to Aramis, whilst having the air of having nothing 
secret about him, he was a young fellow made up of mysteries, answer- 
ing little to questions put to him about others, and eluding those that 
concerned himself. One day, D'Artagnan, having for a long time 
interrogated him about Porthos, and having learned from him the 
report which prevailed concerning the bonne fortune of the musketeer 
with a princess, wished to gain a little insight into the amorous adven- 
tures of his interlocutor. 

" And you, my dear companion," said he, " you who speak of the 
baronesses, countesses, and princesses of others ?" 

" Pardieu ! I spoke of them because Porthos talked of them himself, 
because he has cried all these fine things betore me. But, be assured, 
my dear Monsieur d'Artagnan, that if I had obtained them from any 
other source, or if they had been confided to me, there exists no con- 
fessor more discreet than I am." 

" Oh ! I don't doubt that," replied D'Artagnan ; " but it seems to me 
that you are tolerably familiar with coats of arms, a certain embroidered 
handkerchief, for instance, to which I owe the honour of your ac- 
quaintance V* 

This time Aramis was not angry, but assumed the most modest air, 
and replied in a friendly tone : 

"My dear friend, do not forget that I wish to belong to the church, 
and that I avoid all mundane opportunities. The handkerchief you saw 
had not been given to me, but it had been forgotten, and left at my 
house by one of my friends. I was obliged to pick it up, in order not 


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to compromise him and the lady he loves. As for myself, I neither 
have nor desire to have a mistress, following, in that respect, the very 
judicious example of Athos, who has none, any more than I have." 

" But, what the devil ! you are not an abbe*, )ou area musketeer !" 

" A musketeer for a time, my friend, as the cardinal says, a muske- 
teer against my will, but a Churchman at heart, believe me. Athos 
and Porthos dragged me into this to occupy me. I had, at the moment 

of being ordained, a little difficulty with But that would not interest 

you, and I am taking up your valuable time." 

" Oh ! not at all ; it interests me very much," cried D'Artagnan, " and 
at this moment, I have absolutely nothing to do." 

"Yes, but I have my breviary to repeat," answered Aramis ; "then 
some verses to compose, which Madame d'Aiguillon begged of me. 
Then I must go to Rue St. H onore", in order to purchase some rouge 
f>r Madame de Chevreuse : so you see, my dear friend, that if you are 
not in a hurry, I am." 

And Aramis held out his hand in a cordial manner to his young com- 
panion, and took leave of him. 

Notwithstanding all the pains he tookjD'Artagnan was unable to learn 
any more concerning his young friends. He formed, therefore, the 
resolution of believing in the pres ent all that was said of their past, 
hoping for more certain and exte nded revelations from the future. In 
the meanwhile, he looked upon Athos as an Achilles, Porthos as an 
Ajax, and Aramis as a Joseph. 

As to the rest, the life of our four young friends was joyous enough. 
Athos played, and that generally unfortunately. Nevertheless, he never 
borrowed a sou of his companions, although his purse was ever at their 
service ; and when he had played upon honour, he always awakened his 
creditor by six o'clock the next morning, to pay the debt of the preceding 

Porthos played by fits : on the days he won he was insolent and 
ostentatious ; if he lost, he disappeared completely for several days, after 
which he reappeared with a pale face and thinner person, but with 
money in his purse. 

As to Aramis, he never played. He was the worst musketeer and 
the most unconvivial companion imaginable. He had always something 
or other to do. Sometimes, in the midst of dinner, when every one, 
under the attraction of wine and in the warmth of conversation, believed 
they had two or three hours longer to enjoy themselves at table, Aramis 
looked at his watch, arose with a bland smile, and took leave of the 
company, to go, as he said, to consult a casuist with whom he had an 
appointment. At other times he would return home to write a treatise, 
and requested his friends not to disturb him. 

At this Athos would smile, with his charming, melancholy smile, 
which so became his noble countenance, and Porthos would drink, 
swearing that Aramis would never be anything but a village curi. 

Planchet, D'Artagnan's valet, supported his good fortune nobly ; he 
received thirty sous per day, and during a month he returned home gay 


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as a chaffinch, and affable towards his master. When the wind of 
adversity began to blow upon the housekeeping of Rue des Fossoyeurs, 
that is to say, when the forty pistoles of King Louis XIII. were con- 
sumed, or nearly so, he commenced complaints which Athos thought 
nauseous, Porthos unseemly, and Aramis ridiculous. Athos advised 
D'Artagnan to dismiss the fellow, Porthos was of opinion that he should 
give him a good thrashing first, and Aramis contended that a master 
should never attend to anything but the civilities paid him. 

" This is all very easy for you to say," replied D'Artagnan ; " for you 
Athos, who live like a dumb man with Grimaud, who forbid him to speak, 
and consequently never exchange ill words with him ; for you, Porthos, 
who carry matters in such magnificent style, and are a god for your 
valet Mousqueton ; and for you, Aramis, who, always abstracted by 
your theological studies, inspire your servant Bazin, a mild, religious 
man, with a profound respect ; but for me, who am without any settled 
means, and without resources, — for me, who am neither a musketeer, 
nor even a guard, what am I to do to inspire either affection, terror, or 
respect in Planchet T 

" The thing is serious," answered the three friends ; " it is a family 
affair ; it is with valets as with wives, they must be placed at once upon 
the footing in which you wish them to remain. Reflect upon it." 

D'Artagnan did reflect, and resolved to thrash Planchet in the interim, 
which was executed with the conscience that D'Artagnan placed in 
everything ; then, after having well beaten him, he forbade him to leave 
his service without his permission ; for, added he, "the future cannot fail 
to mend ; I inevitably look for better times. Your fortune is therefore 
, made if you remain with me, and I am too good a master to allow you 
to miss such a chance by granting you the dismissal you require." 

This manner of acting created much respect for D'Artagnan's policy 
among the musketeers. Planchet was equally seized with admiration, 
and said no more about going away. 

The life of the four young men had become common ; D'Artagnan, 
who had no settled habits of his own, as he came from his province into 
the midst of a world quite new to him, fell easily into the habits of his 

They rose about eight o'clock in the winter, about six in summer, and 
went to take the orderly word and see how things went on at M. de 
TreVille's. D'Artagnan, although he was not a musketeer, performed 
the duty of one with remarkable punctuality : he went on guard, because 
he always kept company with that one of his friends who mounted his. 
He was well known at the hotel of the musketeers, where every one 
considered him a good comrade ; M. de TreVille, who had appreciated 
him at the first glance, and who bore him a real affection, never ceased 
recommending him to the king. 

On their side, the three musketeers were much attached to their 
young comrade. The friendship which united these four men, and the 
want they felt of seeing each other three or four times a-day, whether 
for duel, business, or pleasure, caused them to be continually running 


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after one another like shadows, and the inseparables were constantly to 
be met with seeking each other, from the Luxembourg to the Place 
Saint- Sulpice, or from the Rue du Vieux-Colombier to the Luxem- 

In the meanwhile the promises of M. de Tre*ville went on prosper- 
ously. One fine morning the king commanded M. le Chevalier 
Desessarts to admit D'Artagnan as a cadet in his company of guards. 
D'Artagnan, with a sigh, donned this uniform, which he would have 
exchanged lor that of a musketeer, at the expense of ten years of his 
existence. But M. de TreVille promised this favour after a novitiate of 
two years, a novitiate which might, besides, be abridged if an opportu- 
nity should present itself for D'Artagnan to render the king any signal 
service, or to distinguish himself by some brilliant action. Upon this 
promise D'Artagnan retired, and the next day entered upon his duties. 

Then it became the turn of Athos, Porthos, and Aramis to mount 
guard wkh D'Artagnan, when he was on duty. By admitting D'Artagnan, 
the company of M. le Chevalier Desessarts thus received four instead 
of one. 


In the meantime, the forty pistoles of King Louis XIII., like all other 
things of this world, after having had a beginning had an end, and after 
this end our four companions began to be somewhat embarrassed. At 
first Athos supported the association for a time with his own means. 
Porthos succeeded him, and thanks to one of these disappearances to 
which he was accustomed, he was able to provide for the wants of all 
for a fortnight ; at last it became Aramis's turn, who performed it with 
a good grace, and who succeeded, as he said, by selling some theo- 
logical books, in procuring a few pistoles. 

They then, as they had been accustomed to do, had recourse to M. de 
Tre"ville, who made some advances on their pay ; but these advances 
could not go far with three musketeers who were already much in 
arrears, and a guard who as yet had no pay at alL 

At length, when they found they were likely to be quite in want, they 
got together, as a last effort, eight or ten pistoles, with which Porthos 
went to the gaming-table. Unfortunately he was in a bad vein ; he lost 
all, together with twenty-five pistoles upon his parole. 

Then the inconvenience became distress ; the hungry friends, followed 
by their lackeys, were seen haunting the quays and guard-rooms, pick- 
ing up among their friends abroad all the dinners they could meet 
with ; for, according to the advice of Aramis, it was prudent to sow 
repasts right and left in prosperity in order to reap a few in time of 

Athos was invited four times, and each time took his friends and their 
lackeys with him ; Porthos had six occasions, and contrived in the same 


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manner that his friends should partake of them ; Aramis had eight of 
them. He was a man, as must have been already perceived, who made 
but little noise, and yet was much sought after. 

As to D'Artagnan, who as yet knew nobody in the capital, he only 
found one breakfast of chocolate at the house of a priest who was his 
countryman, and one dinner at the house of a cornet of the guards. 
He took his army to the priest's, where they devoured as much pro- 
vision as would have lasted him for two months ; and to the cornet's, 
who performed wonders ; but, as Planchet said, " People only eat once 
at a time, even although they eat much." 

D'Artagnan then felt himself humiliated in having only procured one 
meal and a half for his companions, as the breakfast at the priest's could 
only be counted as half a repast, in return for the feasts which Athos, 
Porthos, and Aramis had procured him. He fancied himself a burden 
to the society, forgetting in his perfectly juvenile good faith, that he 
had fed this society for a month, and he set his mind actively to work. 
He reflected that this coalition of four young, brave, enterprising, and 
active men ought to have some other object than swaggering walks, 
fencing lessons, and practical jokes, more or less sensible. 

In fact, four men, such as they were, four men devoted to each other, 
from their purses to their lives, four men always supporting each other' 
never yielding, executing singly or together the resolutions formed in 
common ; four arms threatening the four cardinal points, or turning 
towards a single point, must inevitably, either subterraneously, in open 
day, by mining, in the trench, by cunning, or by force, open themselves 
a way towards the object they wished to attain, however well it might 
be defended, or however distant it might seem. The only thing that 
astonished D'Artagnan was, that his friends had never yet thought of 

He was thinking alone, and seriously racking his brain to find a 
direction for this single force four times multiplied, with which he did 
not doubt, as with the lever for which Archimedes sought, they should 
succeed in moving the world, when some one tapped gently at his door. 
D'Artagnan awakened Planchet and desired him to go and see who 
was there. 

Let not the reader, from this phrase — " D'Artagnan awakened Planchet," 
suppose that it was night, or that the day was not yet come. No, it 
had just struck four. Planchet, two hours before, had asked his master 
for some dinner, and he had answered him with the proverb, " He who 
sleeps dines." And Planchet dined sleeping. 

A man was introduced of a common mien, with the appearance of a 

Planchet, by way of dessert, would have liked to hear the conversa- 
tion, but the bourgeois declared to D'Artagnan that that which he had 
to say being important and confidential, he desired to be left alone 
with him. 

D'Artagnan dismissed Planchet, and requested his visitor to be 


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There was a moment of silence, during which the two men looked 
at each other, as if to make a preliminary acquaintance, after which 
D'Artagnan bowed as a sign that he was attentive. 

" I have heard speak of M. d'Artagnan as of a very brave young 
man," said the bourgeois, " and this reputation, which he justly enjoys, 
has determined me to confide a secret to him." 

" Speak, monsieur, speak," said D'Artagnan, who instinctively scented 
something advantageous. 
The bourgeois made a fresh pause and continued : 
" I have a wife who is seamstress to the queen, monsieur, and who 
is not deficient in either good conduct or beauty. I was induced to 
marry her, about three years ago, although she had but very little 
dowry, because M. Laporte, the queen's cloak-bearer, is her godfather, 
and patronises her." 

" Well, monsieur ?" asked D'Artagnan. 

" Well !" resumed the bourgeois, " well ! monsieur, my wife was 
carried off, yesterday morning, as she was coming out of her work- 

" And by whom was your wife carried off?" 

" I know nothing certain about the matter, monsieur, but I suspect 
some one." ' 

" And who is the person you suspect ?" 
u A man who pursued her a long time ago." 
"The devil P 

" But allow me to tell you, monsieur," continued the citizen, " that I 
am convinced that there is less love than policy in all this." 

" Less love than policy," replied D'Artagnan, with a very serious air, 
•' and what do you suspect ?" 
" I do not know whether I ought to tell you what I suspect." 
" Monsieur, I beg you to observe that I ask you absolutely nothing. 
It is you who have come to me. It is you who have told me that you 
had a secret to confide to me. Act then as you think proper ; there is 
still time to withhold it." 

" No, monsieur, no ; you appear to be an honest young man, and I 
will place confidence in you. I believe, then, that love has nothing to 
do with the carrying off of my wife, as regards herself, but that it has 
been done on account of the amours of a much greater lady than 
she is." 

"Ah ! ah! can it be on account of the amours of Madame de Bois- 
Tracy?" said D'Artagnan, wishing to have the air, in the eyes of the 
bourgeois, of being acquainted with the affairs of the court. 
" Higher, monsieur, higher." 
" Of Madame d'Aiguillon ?" 
44 Still higher." 

4k Of Madame de Chevreuse ?" 
44 Higher ; much higher !" 
" Of the ?" D'Artagnan stopped. 


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u Yes, monsieur," replied the terrified bourgeois, in a tone so low 
that he was scarcely audible. 

" And with whom ?" 

" With whom can it be, if not with the duke of ?" 

"The duke of " 

" Yes, monsieur/' replied the bourgeois, giving a still lower intonation 
to his voice. 

" But how do you know all this ?" 

" How do I know it r 

" Yes, how do you know it T No half-confidence, or , you under- 
stand !" 

" I know it from my wife, monsieur, — from my wife herself." 

" Who knows it— she herself,— from whom ?" 

"From M. Laporte. Did I not tell you that she was the god- 
daughter of M. Laporte, the confidential man of the queen? Well, 
M. Laporte placed her near her majesty, in order that our poor queen 
might at least have some one in whom she could place confidence, 
abandoned as she is by the king, watched as she is by the cardinal, 
betrayed as she is by everybody." 

" Ah ! ah ! it begins to develop itself/' said D'Artagnan. 

a Now my wife came home four days ago, monsieur : one of her 
conditions was that she should come and see me twice a week ; for, as 
I had the honour to tell you, my wife loves me dearly ; my wife, then, 
came and confided to me that the queen, at this very moment, enter 
tained great fears.'' 

" Indeed !" 

" Yes. M. le Cardinal, as it appears, pursues her and persecutes her 
more than ever. He cannot pardon her the history of the Saraband. 
You know the history of the Saraband ?' 

" Pardieu ! know it !" replied D'Artagnan, who knew nothing about 
it, but who wished to appear to know everything that was going on. 

" So that now it is no longer hatred, but vengeance." 

" Indeed !" 

" And the queen believes " 

" Well, what does the queen believe ?" 

" She believes that some one has written to the Duke of Buckingham 
in her name." 

"In the queen's name ?" 

" Yes, to make him come to Paris ; and when once come to Paris, 
to draw him into some snare." 

" The devil ! But your wife, monsieur, what has she to do with all 
this r 

" Her devotion to the queen is known, and they wish either to remove 
her from her mistress, or to intimidate her, in order to obtain her 
majesty's secrets, or to seduce her and make use of her as a spy." 

" That is all very probable," said D'Artagnan ; "but the man who 
has carried her off,— ao you know him ?" 

" I have told you that I believe I know him." 



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"His name r" 

" \ do not know that ; what I do know is that he is a creature of the 
cardinal's, his dme damnte" 

" But you have seen him ?" 

" Yes, my wife pointed him out to me one day." 

" Has he anything remarkable about him, by which he may be recog- 
nised r 

"Oh ! certainly; he is a noble of very lofty carriage, black hair, 
swarthy complexion, piercing eye, white teeth, and a scar on his 
temple. , ' 

"A scar on his temple," cried D'Artagnan ; "and with that, white 
teeth, a piercing eye, dark complexion, black hair, and haughty car- 
riage ; why, that's my man of Meung." 

"He is your man, do you say ?" 

" Yes, yes ; but that has nothing to do with it. No, I am mistaken ; 
that simplifies the matter greatly ; on the contrary, if your man is mine, 
with one blow I shall obtain two revenges, that's all ; but where is this 
man to be met with ?' 

" I cannot inform you." 

" Have you no information respecting his dwelling P 

" None ; one day, as I was conveying my wife back to the Louvre, he 
was coming out as she was going in, and she showed him to me." 

" The devil ! the devil !" murmured D'Artagnan ; " alt this is vague 
enough ; from whom did you learn the abduction of your wife ?* 

" From M. Laporte." 

" Did he give you any of the particulars ?" 

" He knew none himself." 

" And you have learned none from any other quarter ?" 

" Yes, I have received " 


" I fear I am committing a great imprudence. 

"You still keep harping upon that ; but I beg leave to observe to you 
this time that it is too late now to retreat" 

" I do not retreat, mordieu !" cried the bourgeois, swearing to keep 
his courage up. " Besides, by the word of Bonacieux " 

"Your name is Bonacieux ?' interrupted D'Artagnan. 

" Yes, that is my name." 

" You said then, by the word of Bonacieux ! Pardon me for interrupt- 
ing you, but it appears to me that that name is familiar to me." 

"Very possibly, monsieur. I am your proprittaircr 
Ah ! ah !" said D'Artagnan, half rising and bowing ; " you are m v 
propridtatre f ' 

' Yes, monsieur, yes. And as it is three months since you came, and 
engaged as you must be in your important occupations, you have for- 
gotten to pay me my rent ; as, I say, I have not tormented you a single 
instant, I thought you would appreciate my delicacy." 

How can it be otherwise, my dear Bonacieux r replied D'Artagnan ; 


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u trust me, I am fully grateful for such conduct, and if, as I have told 
you, I can be of any service to you '' 

" I believe you, monsieur, I believe you ; and as I was about to say, 
by the word of Bonacieux ! I have confidence in you." 

44 Finish, then, that which you were about to say.'' 

The bourgeois took a paper from his pocket, and presented it to 

44 A letter ?" said the young man. 

44 Which 1 received this morning." 

D'Artagnan opened it, and as the day was beginning to decline, he 
drew near to the window to read it, and the bourgeois followed him. 

44 * Do not seek for your wife/ ''read D'Artagnan ; " * she will be restored 
to you when there is no longer occasion for her. If you make a single 
step to find her you are lost.' " 

44 That's pretty positive/' continued D'Artagnan ; "but, after all, it is 
but a threat." 

" Yes ; but that threat terrifies me. I am not a man of the sword at 
all, monsieur ; and I am afraid of the Bastille.*' 

** Hum!" said D'Artagnan. " I have no greater regard for the Bastille 
than you. If it were nothing but a sword-thrust " 

44 I have depended upon you on this occasion, monsieur." 

44 You have?" 

44 Seeing you constantly surrounded by musketeers of a very superb 
appearance, and knowing that these musketeers belonged to M. de 
Trdville, and were consequently enemies of the cardinal, I thought that 
you and your friends, whilst rendering justice to our poor queen, would 
not be displeased at having an opportunity of giving his eminence an 

" Without doubt." 

44 And then I thought that owing me three months' rent, which I 
have said nothing about " 

44 Yes, yes ; you have already given me that reason, and I find it 
excellent. " 

" Reckoning still further, that as long as you do me the honour to 
remain in my house, that I shall never name to you your future rent." 

44 Very kind !" 

44 And adding to this, if there be need of it, meaning to offer you fifty 
pistoles, if, against all probability, you should be short at the present 

44 Admirable ! but you are rich then, my dear Monsieur Bonacieux?" 

44 1 am comfortably off, monsieur, that's all : I have scraped together 
some such thing as an income of two or three thousand crowns in the 
mercery business, but more particularly in venturing some funds in the 
last voyage of the celebrated navigator, Jean Moquet : so that you 
understand, monsieur, But !" cried the bourgeois. 

44 What !" demanded D'Artagnan. 

44 Whom do I see yonder V* 

" Where?" 



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li In the street, fronting your window, in the embrasure of that door : 
a man enveloped in a cloak." 

" It is he 1" cried D'Artagnan and the bourgeois at the same time, 
having each recognised his man. 

" Ah ! this time,* cried D'Artagnan, springing to his sword, '' this 
time he does not escape me !" 

Drawing his sword from the sheath, he rushed out of the apartment. 

On the staircase he met Athos and Porthos, who were coming to 
see him. They separated, and D'Artagnan rushed between them like 

"Where the devil are you going ?" cried the two musketeers in a 

" The man of Meung !" replied D'Artagnan, and disappeared. 

D'Artagnan had more than once related to his friends his adventure 
with the unknown, as well as the apparition of the beautiful foreigner 
to whom this man had confided some important missive. 

The opinion of Athos was that D'Artagnan had lost his letter in the 
skirmish. A gentleman, in his opinion, and according to D'Artagnan's 
portrait of him the unknown must be a gentleman, a gentleman would 
be incapable of the baseness of stealing a letter. 

Porthos saw nothing in all this but a love-meeting, given by a lady 
to a cavalier, or by a cavalier to a lady, which had. been disturbed by 
the presence of D'Artagnan and his yellow horse. 

Aramis said that as these sorts of affairs were mysterious, it was 
better not to attempt to unravel them. 

They understood then, from the few words which escaped from 
D'Artagnan, what affair was in hand, and as they thought that after 
having overtaken his man or lost sight of him, D'Artagnan would 
return to his rooms again, they went in. 

When they entered D'Artagnan's chamber, it was empty ; the pro- 
prUtaire dreading the consequences of the rencontre which was, 
doubtless, about to take place between the^young man and the un- 
known, had, consistently with the character he had given himself, 
judged it most prudent to decamp. 



As Athos and Porthos had foreseen, at the expiration of half-an-hour 
D'Artagnan returned. He had this time again missed his man, who 
had disappeared as if by enchantment. D'Artagnan had run, sword in 
hand, through all the neighbouring streets, but had found nobody 
resembling the man he sought for ; then he did that by which, perhaps, 
he ought to have begun, which was to knock at the door against which 
the unknown was leaning ; but it had proved useless to knock ten or 
twelve times running, for no one answered, and some of the neigh- 
bours, who put their noses out of their windows, or were brought to 


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their doors by the noise, had assured him that that house, all the 
openings of which were tightly closed, had been for six months com- 
pletely uninhabited. 

Whilst D'Artagnan was running through the streets and knocking 
at doors, Aramis had joined his companions, so that on returning home 
D , Artagnan found the meeting complete. 

M Well !" cried the three musketeers all together, on seeing D'Ar- 
tagnan enter with his brow covered with perspiration, and his face 
clouded with anger. 

" Well !" cried he, throwing his sword upon the bed ; " this man 
must be the devil in person ; he has disappeared like a phantom, like 
a shade, like a spectre." 

" Do you believe in apparitions V asked Athos, of Porthos. 

" I never believe in anything I have not seen, and as I never have 
seen an apparition, I don't believe in them." 

" The Bible," said Aramis, " makes our belief in them a law ; the 
shade of Samuel appeared to Saul, and it is an article of faith that I 
should be very sorry to see any doubt thrown upon, Porthos." 

"At all events, man or devil, body or shadow, illusion or reality, 
this man is born for my damnation, for his flight has caused us to miss 
a glorious affair, gentlemen, an affair by which there were a hundred 
pistoles, and perhaps more to be gained." 

" How is that ?" cried Porthos and Aramis in a breath. 

As to Athos, faithful to his system of mutism, he satisfied himself 
with interrogating D'Artagnan by a look. 

" Planchet," said D'Artagnan, to his domestic, who just then in- 
sinuated his head through the half-open door, in order to catch some 
fragments of the conversation, "go down to my firopridtaire, M. Bona- 
cieux, and tell him to send me half-a-dozen bottles of Beaugency wine; 
I prefer that" 

" Ah ! ah ! what, are you in credit with your propriitaire, then ?" 
asked Porthos. 

" Yes," replied D'Artagnan, " from this very day, and mind ! if the 
wine be not good, we will send to him to find better." 

" We must use, and not abuse," said Aramis sententiously. 

" I always said that D'Artagnan had the longest head of the four," 
said Athos, who, after having uttered his opinion, to which D'Artagnan 
replied with a bow, immediately resumed his habitual silence. 

" But, come, tell us, what is this about T* asked Porthos. 

" Yes," said Aramis, " impart it to us, my dear friend, unless the 
honour of any lady be hazarded by this confidence ; in that case you 
would do better to keep it to yourself." 

" Be satisfied," replied D'Artagnan, " the honour of no one shall have 
to complain of that which I have to tell you." 

He then related to his friends, word for word, all that had passed 
between him and his landlord, and how the man who had carried off 
the wife of his worthy proprittairc was the same with whom he had 
had a difference at the hostelry of the Franc- Meunier. 


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u Your affair is not a bad one," said Athos, after having tasted the 
wine like a connoisseur, and indicated by a nod of his head that he 
thought it good, " and fifty or sixty pistoles may be got out of this good 
man. Then, there only remains to ascertain whether these fifty or 
sixty pistoles are worth the risk of four heads." 

" But please to observe," cried D'Artagnan, " that there is a woman 
in the affair, a woman carried off, a woman who is doubtless threatened, 
tortured perhaps, and all because she is faithful to her mistress." 

" Beware, D Artagnan, beware," said Aramis, " you grow a little too 
warm, in my opinion, about the fate of Madame Bonacieux. Womin 
was created for our destruction, and it is from her we inherit all our 

At this speech of Aramis the brow of Athos became clouded, and he 
bit his lips. 

" It is not Madame Bonacieux about whom I am anxious," cried 
D'Artagnan, " but the queen, whom the king abandons, whom the 
cardinal persecutes, and who sees the heads of all her friends fall one 
after the other." 

" Why does she love what we hate most in the world, the Spaniards 
and the English ?" 

" Spain is her country," replied D'Artagnan ; " and it is very natural 
that she should love the Spanish, who are the children of the same soil 
as herself. As to the second reproach, I have heard say that she does 
not love the English, but an Englishman." 

" Weil, and by my faith !" said Athos, " it must be confessed that 
this Englishman was worthy of being loved. I never saw a man with 
a nobler air than his." 

" Without reckoning that he dresses as nobody else can," said Porthos. 
" I was at the Louvre on the day that he scattered his pearls ; and, 
pardieu ! I picked up two that I sold for ten pistoles each. Do you 
know him, Aramis ?" 

" As well as you do, gentlemen ; for I yf&s among those who seized 
him in the garden at Amiens, into which M. Putange, the queen's 
equerry, introduced me. I was at school at the time, and the adven- 
ture appeared to me to be cruel for the king." 

" Which would not prevent me," said D'Artagnan, "if I knew where 
the duke of Buckingham was, to take him by the hand and conduct 
him to the queen, were it only to enrage the cardinal ; for our true, our 
only, our eternal enemy, gentlemen, is the cardinal, and if we could find 
means to play him a sharp turn, I confess that I would voluntarily risk 
my head in doing it." 

"And did the mercer," rejoined Athos, "tell you, D'Artagnan, that 
the queen thought that Buckingham had been brought over by a forged 
letter ?" 

" She is afraid so." 

" Wait a minute, then," said Aramis. 

" What for?" demanded Portho?. 

" Go on. I am endeavouring to remember some circumstances." 


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" And now I am convinced," said D'Artagnan, " that this abduction 
of the queen's woman is connected with the events of which we are 
speaking ; and perhaps with the presence of Monsieur de Buckingham 
at Paris." 

"The Gascon is full of ideas," said Porthos, with admiration. 

" I like to hear him talk," said Athos, " his patois amuses me." 

" Gentlemen," cried Aram is, " listen to this." 

" Listen to Aramis," said his three friends. 

" Yesterday I was at the hou-c of a doctor of theology whom I some* 
times consult about my studies. ' 

Athos smiled. 

" He resides in a quiet quarter," continued Aramis : " his tastes and 
his profession require it. Now, at the moment that I left his house — " 

Here Aramis stopped. 

" Well," cried his auditors ; " at the moment you left his house f* 

Aramis appeared to make a strong inward effort, like a man who, in 
the full relation of a falsehood, finds himself stopped by some unfore- 
seen obstacle ; but the eyes of his three companions were fixed upon 
him, their ears were wide open, and there were no means of retreating. 

" This doctor has a niece," continued Aramis. 

" A niece ! has he ?" said Porthos. 

" A very respectable lady," said Aramis. 

The three friends burst into a loud laugh. 

" Ah ! if you laugh, or doubt what I say," replied Aramis, " you shall 
know nothing." 

" We are as staunch believers as Mahometans, and as mute as cata- 
falques," said Athos. 

" I will go on then," resumed Aramis. " This niece comes sometimes 
to see her uncle ; and, by chance, was there yesterday at the same time 
that I was, and I could do no less than offer to conduct her to her car- 

" Oh ! oh ! Then this niece of the doctor's keeps a carriage, does 
she ?" interrupted Porthos, one of whose faults was a great incontinence 
of tongue ; " a very nice acquaintance, my friend !" 

" Porthos," replied Aramis, " I have had occasion to observe to you, 
more than once, that you are very indiscreet ; and that is injurious to 
you among the women." 

"Gentlemen, gentlemen," cried D'Artagnan, who began to get a 
glimpse of the result of the adventure, " the thing is serious ; endeavour, 
then, not to joke, if possible. Go on, Aram is, go on." 

" All at once, a tall, dark gentleman,— just like yours, D'Artagnan." 

" The same, perhaps," said he. 

" Possibly," continued Aramis, — " came towards me, accompanied by 
five or six men, who followed at about ten paces behind him ; and, in 
the politest tone, * Monsieur the Duke/ said he to me, * and you, ma- 
dame/ continued he, addressing the lady, who had hold of my arm, — " 

" The doctor's niece ?" 

"Hold your tongue, Porthos," said Athos ; " you are insupportable." 


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" ' Be so kind as to get into this carriage ; and that without offering 
the slightest resistance, or making the least noise.' " 

" He took you for Buckingham !" cried D'Artagnan. 

" I believe so," replied Aramis. 

" But the lady ?" asked Porthos. 

"He took her for the queen !" said D'Artagnan. 

u Just so," replied Aramis. 

" The Gascon is the devil !" cried Athos ; " nothing escapes him." 

" The fact is," said Porthos, "Aramis is of the same height, and some- 
thing of the shape of the duke ; but it nevertheless appears to me that 
the uniform of a musketeer " 

" I wore a very large cloak," said Aramis. 

" In the month of July ; the devil !" said Porthos. "Is the doctor 
afraid you should be recognised ?" 

" I can comprehend that the spy may have been deceived by the per- 
son ; but the face " 

" I had a very large hat on," said Aramis. 

" Oh ! good lord !" cried Porthos, " what precautions to study theo- 
logy !" 

"Gentlemen, gentlemen," said D'Artagnan, "do not let us lose our 
time in jesting ; let us separate, and Jet us seek the mercer's wife ; that 
is the key of the intrigue." 

" A woman of such inferior condition ! can* you believe so ?" said 
Porthos, protruding his lip with contempt. 

" She is goddaughter to Laporte, the confidential valet of the queen. 
Have I not told you so, gentlemen ? Besides, it has perhaps been a 
scheme of her majesty's to have sought, on this occasion, for support 
so lowly. High heads expose themselves sometimes ; and the cardinal 
is far-sighted." 

" Well," said Porthos, " in the first place make a bargain with the 
mercer ; and a good bargain, too." 

" That's useless," said D'Artagnan ; " for I believe if he does not pay 
us, we shall be well enough paid by another party." 

At this momenta sudden noise of footsteps was heard upon the stairs, 
the door was thrown violently open, and the unfortunate mercer rushed 
into the chamber in which the council was held. 

" Save me ! gentlemen ! save me !" cried he. " There are four men 
come to arrest me ; save me ! for the love of heaven, save me !" 

Porthos and Aramis arose. 

"A moment," cried D'Artagnan, making them a sign to replace their 
half-drawn swords : " on this occasion we don't require courage ; we 
must exercise prudence." 

" And yet," cried Porthos, " we will not leave " 

" You will leave D'Artagnan to act as he thinks proper ; he has, 
I repeat, the longest head of the four, and for my part, I declare 
I obey him. Do as you think best D'Artagnan." 

At this moment the four guards appeared at the door of the ante- 


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chamber, but seeing four musketeers standing, and their swords by their 
sides, they hesitated to advance further. 

" Come in, gentlemen, come in ; you are here in my apartment, and 
we are all faithful servants of the king and Monsieur le Cardinal." 

" Then, gentlemen, you will not oppose our executing the orders we 
have received ?" asked the one who appeared to be the leader of the 

"On the contrary, gentlemen, we would assist you if it were 
41 What does he say ?" grumbled Porthos. 
"That you are a simpleton," said Athos ; "hold your tongue." 
"But you promised me,"— said the poor mercer, in a very low 

"We can only save you by being free ourselves," replied D'Artagnan, 
in a rapid, low tone, " and if we appear inclined to defend you, they will 
arrest us with you." 

"It seems— nevertheless " 

" Come in, gentlemen ! come in !" said D'Artagnan ; " I have no 

motive for defending monsieur. I saw him to-day for the first time, and 

he can tell you on what occasion ; he came to demand the rent of my 

lodging. Is not that true, M. Bonacieux ? Answer ?" 

" That's the very truth," cried the mercer ; " but monsieur does not 

tell you " 

" Silence, with respect to me ! silence, with respect to my friends !— 
silence about the queen above all, or you will ruin everybody without 
saving yourself. Now, gentlemen, you are at liberty to take away this 

And D Artagnan pushed the half-stupefied mer er among the guards, 
saying to him — 

" You are a shabby old fellow, my dear !— you come to demand 
money of me ! of a musketeer !— to prison with him !— gentlemen, once 
more, take him to prison, and keep him under key as long as possible— 
that will give me time to pay him." 
The sbirri were full of thanks, and took away their prey. 
At the moment they were going down, D'Artagnan laid his hand on 
the shoulder of their leader. 

" Shall I not have the pleasure of drinking to your health, and you to 
mine ?" said D'Artagnan, filling two glasses with the Beaugency wine 
which he had obtained from the liberality of M. Bonacieux. 

" That will do me great honour," said the leader of the sbirri, " and I 
consent thankfully." 

" Then to yours, monsieur— what is your name r 
" Boisrenard." 
" Monsieur Boisrenard !" 

" To yours, my good sir — in your turn, what is your name, if you 
please ?" 
" To yours, Monsieur d'Artagnan. ' y 


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" And above all others," cried D'Artagnan, as if carried away by his 
enthusiasm, " to that of the king and the cardinal." 

The leader of the sbirri would perhaps have doubted the sincerity of 
D'Artagnan if the wine had been bad, but the wine was good, and he was 

" Why, what a devil of a villany have you performed there," said 
Porthos, when the alguazil-in-chicf had rejoined his companions, 
and the four friends were left alone. " Shame ! shame ! for four 
musketeers to allow an unfortunate devil who cried out for help to be 
arrested from amongst them. And a gentleman to hob-nob with a 

" Porthos," said Aramis, " Athos has already told you, you are a sim- 
pleton, and I am quite of his opinion. D'Artagnan, you are a great man, 
and when you occupy M. de TreVille's place, I will come and ask your 
influence to secure me an abbey." 

" Well ! I am quite lost !" said Porthos, " do you approve of what 
D'Artagnan has done T 

" Parbleu ! indeed I do !" said Athos, " I not only approve of what he 
has done, but I congratulate him upon it." 

"And now, gentlemen," said D'Artagnan, without stopping to explain 
his conduct to Porthos — " all for one, one for all, that is our device, is 

" And yet !" said Porthos. 

" Hold out your hand and swear !"cried Athos and Aramis at xmcc. 

Overcome by example, grumbling to himself, nevertheless, Porthos 
stretched out his hand, and the four friends repeated with one voice the 
formula dictated by D'Artagnan. 

" All for one, one for all." 

" That's well ! Now let every one retire to his own home," said 
D'Artagnan, as if he had done nothing but command all his life—" and 
attention ! for from this moment we are at feud with the cardinal" 



The invention of the mouse-trap does not date from our days ; as 
soon as societies, in forming, had invented any kind of police, that police 
in its. turn, invented mouse-traps. 

As perhaps our readers are not familiar with the slang of the Rue de 
Jerusalem, and that it is fifteen years since we applied this word, for 
the first time, to this thing, allow us to explain to them what a mouse- 
trap is. 

When in a house, of whatever kind it may be, an individual suspected 
of any crime be arrested, the arrest is held secret ; four or five men are 
placed in ambuscade in the first apartment, the door is opened to all 
that knock, it is closed after them, and they are arrested : so that at the 


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end of two or three days they have in their power almost all the familiars 
of the establishment. And that is a mouse-trap. 

The apartment of Master Bonacieux then became a mouse-trap, and 
whoever appeared there was taken and interrogated by the cardinal's 
people. It must be observed that as a private passage led to the first 
floor, in which D'Artagnan lodged, those who called to see him were 
exempted from this. 

Besides, nobody came thither but the three musketeers ; they had all 
been engaged in earnest search and inquiries, but had discovered no- 
thing. Athos had even gone so far as to question M. de Tre'ville, a thing 
which, considering the habitual mutism of the worthy musketeer, had 
very much astonished his captain. But M. de Tre'ville knew nothing, 
except that the last time he had seen the cardinal, the king and the 
queen, the cardinal looked very thoughtful, the king uneasy, and the 
redness of the queen's eyes denoted that she had been deprived of sleep, 
or had been weeping. But this last circumstance was not at all striking, 
as the queen, since her marriage, had slept badly and wept much. 

M. de Tre'ville requested Athos, whatever might happen, to be 
observant of his duty to the king, but more particularly to the queen, 
begging him to convey his desires to his comrades. 

As to D'Artagnan, he did not stir from his apartment. He converted 
his chamber into an observatory. From his windows he saw all come 
who were caught ; then, having removed some of the boarding of his 
floor, and nothing remaining but a simple ceiling between him and the 
room beneath, in which the interrogatories were made, he heard all 
that passed between the inquisitors and the accused. 

The interrogatories, preceded by a minute search operated upon the 
persons arrested, were almost all thus conceived. 

" Has Madame Bonacieux sent anything to you for her husband, or 
any other person ? 

" Has Monsieur Bonacieux sent anything to you for his wife, or for 
any other person ? 

" Has either the one or the other confided anything to you by word 
of mouth ?" 

" If they were acquainted with anything, they would not question 
people in this manner," said D'Artagnan to himself. " Now, what is it 
they want to know ? Why, if the Duke of Buckingham is in Paris, and 
if he has not had, or is not to have, some interview with the queen." 

D'Artagnan was satisfied with this idea, which, after all he had heard, 
was not wanting in probability. 

In the meanwhile, the mouse-trap continued in operation, as likewise 
did D'Artagnan's vigilance. 

On the evening of the day after the arrest of poor Bonacieux, as 
Athos had just left D'Artagnan, to go to M. de Trc'ville's, as nine o'clock 
had just struck, and as Planchet, who had not yet made the bed, was 
beginning his task, a knocking was heard at the street-door; the door 
was instantly opened and shut : some one was taken in the mouse- 


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D'Artagnan flew to his hole, and laid himself down on the floor at full 
length to listen. 

Cries were soon heard, and then moans, which someone appeared to 
be endeavouring to stifle. There were no interrogatories. 

" The devil !" said D'Artagnan to himself, " it's a woman — they are 
searching her— she resists — they use force— the scoundrels !" 

In spite of all his prudence, D'Artagnan restrained himself with great 
difficulty from taking a part in the scene that was going on below. 

" But I tell you that I am the mistress of the house, gentlemen ! I 
tell you I am Madame Bonacieux — I tell you I belong to the queen !" 
said the unfortunate woman. 

" Madame Bonacieux !" murmured D'Artagnan ; " can I have been 
so lucky as to have found what everybody is seeking for ?" 

The voice became more and more indistinct ; a tumultuous move- 
ment shook the wainscoting. The victim resisted as much as a woman 
could resist four men. 

"Pardon, gentlemen, — par "murmured the voice, which could 

now be only heard in inarticulate sounds. 

u They are binding her, they are going to drag her away," cried D'Ar- 
tagnan to himself, springing up from the floor. " My sword ! good, it 
is by my side. Planchet !" 
" Monsieur." 

" Run and seek Athos, Porthos, and Aramis. One of the three will 
certainly be at home, perhaps all three are. Tell them to arm, to 
come here, and be quick ! Ah ! I remember, Athos is at M. De 

" But where are you going, monsieur, where are you going ?" 
" I am going down by the window, in order to be there the sooner," 
cried D'Artagnan : " on your part, put back the boards, sweep the floor, 
go out at the door, and run where I bid you." 
" Oh ! monsieur ! monsieur ! you will kill yourself," cried Planchet. 
" Hold your tongue, you stupid fellow," said D'Artagnan, and laying 
hold of the window-frame, he let himself gently down, and the height 
not being great, he did not sustain the least injury. 

He then went straight to the door and knocked, murmuring : 
" I will go myself and be caught in the mouse-trap, but woe be to the 
cats that shall pounce upon such a mouse !" 

The knocker had scarcely sounded under the hand of the young man 
than the tumult ceased, steps approached, the door was opened, and 
D'Artagnan, sword in hand, rushed into the apartment of Master 
Bonacieux, the door of which, doubtless, acted upon by a spring, closed 
after him. 

Then those who dwelt in Bonacieux's unfortunate house, together 
with the nearest neighbours, heard loud cries, stamping of feet, clashing 
of swords, and breaking of furniture. Then, a moment after, such as, 
surprised by this tumult, had gone to their windows to learn the cause 
of it, could see the door open, and four men, clothed in black, not come 
out of it, but fly, like so many frightened crows, leaving on the ground, 


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and on the corners of the furniture, feathers from their wings ; that is 
to say, portions of their clothes and fragments of their cloaks. 

D'Artagnan was conqueror, without much trouble, it must be con- 
fessed, for only one of the alguazils was armed, and defended himself 
for form's sake. It is true that the three others had endeavoured to 
knock the young man down with chairs, stools, and crockery ware ; but 
two or three scratches made by the Gascon's blade terrified them. Ten 
minutes had sufficed for their defeat, and D'Artagnan remained master 
of the field of battle. 

The neighbours who had opened theirwindows, with sangfroid pecu- 
liar to the inhabitants of Paris in these times of perpetual riots and 
disturbances, closed them again as soon as they saw the four men in 
black fly away : their instinct telling them that, for the moment, all 
was over. 

Besides, it began to grow late, and then, as at the present day, people 
went to bed early in the quarter of the Luxembourg. 

On being left alone with Madame Bonacieux, D'Artagnan turned 
towards her ; the poor woman reclined, where she had been left, upon 
*fauteuil, in a half-fainting state. D'Artagnan examined her with a 
rapid but an earnest glance. 

She was a charming woman, of about twenty-five years of age, dark 
hair, blue eyes, and a nose slightly turned up, admirable teeth, and a 
complexion marbled with rose and opal. There, however, stopped the 
signs which might have confounded her with a lady of rank. The 
hands were white, but without delicacy : the feet did not bespeak the 
woman of quality. Fortunately, D'Artagnan was, as yet, not acquainted 
with such niceties. 

Whilst D'Artagnan was examining Madame Bonacieux, and was, as 
we have said, close to her, he saw on the ground a fine cambric hand- 
kerchief, which he mechanically picked up, and at the corner of which 
he recognised the same cipher that he had seen on the handkerchief 
which had nearly caused him and Aramis to cut each other's throats. 

From that time D'Artagnan had been cautious with respect to hand- 
kerchiefs with arms on them, and he therefore placed the one he had 
just picked up in Madame Bonacieux's pocket. 

At that moment Madame Bonacieux recovered her senses. She 
opened her eyes, looked around her with terror, saw that the apartment 
was empty, and that she was alone with her liberator. She immediately 
held out her hands to him with a smile — Madame Bonacieux had the 
sweetest smile in the world ! 

" Ah ! monsieur !" said she, "you have saved me : permit me to thank 

" Madame," said D'Artagnan, " I have only done what every gentle- 
man would have done in my place — you owe me no thanks." 

" Oh ! yes, monsieur, oh ! yes ; and I hope to prove to you that you 
have not served an ingrate. But what could these men, whom I at 
first took for robbers, want with me, and why is M. Bonacieux not 


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" Madame, those men were much more dangerous than any robbers 
could have been, for they are the agents of M. the Cardinal : and as to 
your husband, M. Bonacieux, he is not here, because he was yesterday 
evening taken away to the Bastille." 

" My husband in the Bastille !" cried Madame Bonacieux. "Oh ! 
good God ! what can he have done ? Poor dear man ! he is innocence 

And something like a faint smile glided over the still terrified features 
of the young woman. 

" What has he done, madame?" said D'Artagnan. " I believe that his 
only crime is to have at the same time the good fortune and the mis- 
fortune to be your husband." 

" But, monsieur, you know then " 

" I know that you have been carried off, madame." 

" And by whom ? Do you know ? Oh 1 if you know, tell me !" 

" By a man of from forty to forty-five years of age, with black hair, a 
dark complexion, and a scar on his left temple." 

" That is he, that is he ; but his name r" 

" Ah ! his name ? I do not know that." 

" And did my husband know I had been carried off ?" 

*' He was informed of it by a letter written to him by the ravisher 

" And does he suspect," said Madame Bonacieux, with some embar- 
rassment, " the cause of this event ?" 

" He attributed it, I believe, to a political cause." 

" I suspected so myself at first, and now I think entirely as he does. 
My dear M. Bonacieux has not then for an instant suspected me r* 

" So far from it, madame, he was too proud of your prudence, and 
particularly of your love." 

A second smile stole almost imperceptibly over the rosy lips of the 
pretty young woman. 

" But," continued D\Artagnan, " how did you escape ?" 

" I took advantage of a moment at which they left me alone ; and as 
I knew from this morning what to think of my abduction, with the help 
of the sheets, I let myself down from the window ; then, as I concluded 
my husband would be at home, I hastened hither." 

" To place yourself under his protection ?" 

11 Oh ! no, poor dear man ! 1 knew very well that he was incapable 
of defending me ; but, as he could be otherwise useful to us, I wished 
to inform him." 

"Of what?" 

" Oh ! that is not my secret ; I must not, therefore, tell you." 

" Besides," said D'Artagnan, " (pardon me madame, if, guard as I am, 
1 remind you of prudence) — besides, I believe we are not here in a very 
proper place for imparting confidences. The men I have put to flight 
will return reinforced ; if they find us here, we are lost. I have sent 
for three of my friends, but who knows whether they may be at 


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" Yes ! yes ! you are right," cried the terrified Madame Bonacieux ; 
u let us fly ! let us save ourselves." 

At these words she passed her arm under that of D'Artagnan, and 
pulled him forward, eagerly. 

" But whither shall we fly ? — whither escape to ?" 

" Let us in the first place get away from this house ; when clear of it 
we shall see." 

And the young woman and the young man, without taking the trouble 
to shut the door after them, descended the Rue des Fossoyeurs rapidly, 
turned into the Rue des FosseVMonsieur-le-Prince, and did not stop 
till they came to the Place-Saint-Sulpice. 

" And now, what are we to do, and whither do you wish me to conduct 
you ?" asked D'Artagnan. 

" I am quite at a loss how to answer you, I confess," said Madame 
Bonacieux ; ** my intention was to inform M. Laporte, by means of my 
husband, in order that M. Laporte might tell us exactly what has taken 
place at the Louvre in the course of the last three days, and whether 
there were any danger in presenting myself there." 

" But I," said D'Artagnan, u can go and inform M. Laporte." 

" No doubt you could ; only there is one misfortune in it, and that is 
that M. Bonacieux is known at the Louvre, and would be allowed to 
pass ; whereas you are not known there, and the gate would be closed 
against you." 

" Ah ! bah !" said D'Artagnan ; " there is no doubt you have at some 
wicket of the Louvre a concierge who is devoted to you, and who, 
thanks to a pass-word, would " 

Madame Bonacieux looked earnestly at the young man. 

" And if I give you this pass-word," said she, " would you forget it as 
soon as you had made use of it ?" 

" Parole d'honneur ! by the faith of a gentleman !" said D'Artagnan, 
with an accent so truthful, no one could mistake it. 

" Then, 1 believe you ; you appear to be a brave young man ; besides, 
your fortune, perhaps, is at the end of your devotedness." 

" I will do, without a promise, and voluntarily, all that I can do tc 
serve the king and be agreeable to the queen : dispose of me, then, as 
a friend." 

" But I ? — where shall I go in the meanwhile ?" 

" Do you know no one from whose house M. Laporte can come and 
fetch you ?" 

" No, I know no one to whom I dare trust." 

" Stop," said D'Artagnan ; " we are near Athos's door. Yes, here 
it is." 

" Who is this Athos ?" 

" One of my friends." 

" But, if he should be at home, and see me ?" 

" He is not at home, and I will carry away the key, after having 
placed you in his apartment." 

" But if he should return ?" 


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" Oh ! he won't return ; and if he should, he will be told that I have 
brought a lady with me, and that lady is in his apartment" 

** But that will compromise me sadly, you know ?" 

"Of what consequence can it be to you ?— nobody knows you ; besides, 
we are in a situation in which we must not be too particular. * 

" Come, then, let us go to your friend's house ; where does he live?" 

" Rue Ferou, within two steps." 

" Come, then !" 

And both resumed their way. As D'Artagnan had foreseen, Athos 
was not at home ; he took the key, which was customarily given him 
as one of the family, ascended the stairs, and introduced Madame Bona- 
cieux into the little apartment of which we gave a description. 

" Here, make yourself at home," said he ; " wait here, fasten the door 
within, and open it to nobody unless you hear three taps like these ;" 
and he tapped thrice ; " two taps close together and pretty hard, the 
other at a considerable distance and more light." 

" That is all well," said Madame Bonacieux ; " now, in my turn, let 
me give you my orders." 

"I am all attention." 

" Present yourself at the wicket of the Louvre, on the side of the 
Rue de TEchelle, and ask for Germain." 

"Well; and then T 

" He will ask you what you want, and you will answer by these two 
words — Tours and Bruxelles. He will immediately be at your com- 

" And what shall I order him to do ?" 

" To go and fetch M. Laporte, the queen's valet de chambre? 

"And when he shall have informed him, and M. Laporte is 
come ?" 

" You will send him to me." 

" That is all very well ; but where and how shall I see you again r* 

" Do you, then, wish much — to see me again ? " 

" Certainly, I do." 

" Well, let that care be mine, and be at ease." 

" I depend upon your word." 

" You may." 

D'Artagnan bowed to Madame Bonacieux, darting at her the most 
oying glance that he could possibly concentrate upon her charming 
little person; and whilst he descended the stairs, he heard the door 
closed and double-locked. In two bounds he was at the Louvre : as he 
entered the wicket of l'Echelle, ten o'clock struck. All the events we 
have described had taken place within half an hour. 

Everything fell out as Madame Bonacieux said it would. On hearine 
the password, Germain bowed : in a few minutes Laporte was at the 
lodge ; in two words D'Artagnan informed him where Madame Bona- 
cieux was. Laporte assured himself, by having it twice repeated, of the 
exactitude of the address, and set off at a run. He had, however, 
scarcely got ten steps before he returned 


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" Young man," said he to D'Artagnan, " I have a piece of advice to 
give you." 

" What is it f 

"You may get into trouble by what has taken place." 

11 Do you think so ?" 

" Yes. Have you any friend whose clock is too slow ?" 

"What then?" 

" Go and call upon him, in order that he may give evidence of your 
having been with him at half-past nine. In a court of justice, that is 
called an alibi? 

D'Artagnan found this advice prudent ; he took to his heels, and was 
soon at M. de TreVille's ; but instead of passing to the saloon with the 
rest of tbe world, he required to be introduced to M. de TreVille's closet. 
As D'Artagnan so constantly frequented the hotel, no difficulty was 
made in complying with his request, and a servant went to inform M. 
de Tre'ville that his young compatriot, having something important to 
communicate, solicited a private audience. Five minutes after, M. de 
Tre'ville was asking D'Artagnan what he could do to serve him, and 
what caused his visit at so late an hour. 

" Pardon me, monsieur," said D'Artagnan, who had profited by the 
moment he had been left alone to put back M. de TreViile's clock three 
quarters of an hour, " but I thought, as it was yet only twenty minutes 
past nine, it was not too late to wait upon you." 

" Twenty minutes past nine I" cried M. de Tre'ville, looking at the 
clock ; " why, that's impossible !" 

" Look, rather, monsieur," said D'Artagnan, " the clock shows it." 

"That's true," said M. de Tre'ville ; " ! should have thought it had 
been later. But what can I do for you ?" 

Then D'Artagnan told M. de Tre'ville a long history about the queen. 
He expressed to him the fears he entertained with respect to her majesty ; 
he related to him what he had heard of the projects of the cardinal with 
regard to Buckingham ; and all with a tranquillity and sereneness of 
which M. de Tre'ville was the more the dupe, from having himself, as 
we have said, observed something fresh between the cardinal, the king, 
and the queen. 

As ten o'clock was striking, D'Artagnan left M. de Tre'ville, who 
thanked him for his information, recommended him to have the service 
of the king and queen always at heart, and returned to the saloon. But 
at the foot of the stairs, D'Artagnan remembered he had forgotten his 
cane : he consequently sprang up again, re-entered the closet, with a 
turn of his finger set the clock right again, that it might not be per- 
ceived the next day that it had been put wrong, and certain from that 
time that he had a witness to prove his alibi, he ran down stairs and 
soon gained the street 


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His visit to M. de TreVille being paid, D'Artagnan took his pensive 
but longest way homewards. 

On what was D'Artagnan thinking, that he strayed thus from his 
path, gazing at the stars in the heavens, and sometimes sighing, some- 
times smiling ? 

He was thinking of Madame Bonacieux. For an apprentice mus- 
keteer, the young woman was almost a loving ideality. Pretty, myste- 
rious, initiated in almost all the secrets of the court, which spread such a 
charming gravity over her pleasing features, she was suspected of not 
being insensible, which is an irresistible charm for novices in love of 
the other sex ; still further, D'Artagnan had delivered her from the 
hands of the demons who wished to search and ill-treat her ; and this 
important service had established between them one of those sentiments 
of gratitude which so easily take another character. 

D'Artagnan already fancied himself, so rapid is the progress of our 
dreams upon the wings of imagination, accosted by a messenger from 
the young woman, who brought him some billet appointing a meeting, a 
gold chain, or a diamond. We have observed that young cavaliers re- 
ceived presents from their king without shame ; let us add that, in these 
times of lax morality, they had no more delicacy with respect to their 
mistresses, and that the latter almost always left them valuable and 
durable remembrances, as if they endeavoured to conquer the fragility of 
their sentiments by the solidity of their gifts. 

Men then made their way in the world by the means of women without 
blushing. Such as were only beautiful gave their beauty ; whence, with- 
out doubt, comes the proverb, " That the most beautiful girl in the 
world can give no more than she has." Such as were rich, gave in 
addition a part of their money ; and a vast number of heroes of that 
gallant period may be cited who would neither have won their spurs 
in the first place, nor their battles afterwards, without the purse, more 
or less furnished, which their mistress fastened to the saddle-bow. 

D'Artagnan possessed nothing; provincial diffidence, that slight 
varnish, that ephemeral flower, that down of the peach, had been bor^ie 
to the winds by the but little orthodox counsels which the three mus- 
keteers gave their friend. D'Artagnan, following the strange custom of 
the times, considered himself at Paris as on a campaign, and that 
neither more nor less than if he had been in Flanders, — Spain yonder, 
woman here. In each there was an enemy to contend with, and con- 
tributions to be levied. 

But, we must say, at the present moment D'Artagnan was governed 
by a much more noble and disinterested feeling. The mercer had told 
him he was rich ; the young man might easily guess that, with so weak 
a man as M. Bonacieux, it was most likely the young wife kept the 
purse. But all this had no influence upon the feeling produced by the 
sight of Madame Bonacieux, and interest remained nearly foreign to 


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this commencement of love, which had been the consequence of it. We 
say nearly, for the idea that a young, handsome, kind and witty woman 
is at the same time rich, takes nothing from the charm of this begin- 
ning of love, but, on the contrary, strengthens it. 

There are in affluence a crowd of aristocratic cares and caprices which 
are highly becoming to beauty. A fine and white stocking, a silken 
robe, a lace kerchief, a pretty slipper on the foot, a tasty ribbon on the 
head, do not make an ugly woman pretty, but they make a pretty woman 
beautiful, without reckoning the hands which gam by all this ; the 
hands, among women particularly, to be beautiful must be idle. 

Then D'Artagnan, as the reader, from whom we have not concealed 
the state of his fortune, very well knows, — D'Artagnan was not a mil- 
lionnaire ; he hoped to become one some day, but the time which in his 
own mind he fixed upon for this happy change was still far distant. In 
the meanwhile, how disheartening to see the woman one loves long for 
those thousands of nothings which constitute a woman's happiness, and 
be unable to give her those thousands of nothings ! At least, when the 
woman is rich and the lover is not, that which he cannot offer she offers 
to herself ; and although it is generally with her husband's money that 
she procures herself this indulgence, the gratitude for it seldom reverts 
to him. 

Then D'Artagnan, disposed to become the most tender of lovers, was 
at the same time a very devoted friend. In the midst of his amorous 
projects upon the mercer's wife, he did not forget his friends. The pretty 
Madame Bonacieux was just the woman to walk with in the Plaine St. 
Denis, or in the fair of Saint- Germain, in company with Athos, Porthos, 
and Aramis, to whom D'Artagnan would be so proud to display such a 
conquest. Then, when people walk for any length of time they become 
hungry, at least D'Artagnan had fancied so several times lately ; and 
they could enjoy some of those little charming dinners, in which we, on 
one side, touch the "hand of a friend, and on the other, the foot of a 
mistress. Besides, on pressing occasions, in extreme difficulties, 
D'Artagnan would become the preserver of his friends. 

And Monsieur Bonacieux, whom D'Artagnan had pushed into the 
hands of the sbirri, denying him aloud, although he had promised in a 
whisper to save him ! We are compelled to admit to our readers, that 
D'Artagnan thought nothing about him in any way ; or that, if he did 
think of him, it was only to say to himself that he was very well where 
he was, wherever it might be. Love is the most selfish of all the pas- 

Let our readers, however, be satisfied ; if D'Artagnan forgets his 
host, or appears to forget him, under the pretence of not knowing where 
he has been taken to, we will not forget him, and we know where he is. 
But for the moment, let us do as the amorous Gascon did; we will see 
after the worthy mercer presently. 

D'Artagnan, reflecting on his future loves, addressing himself to the 
beautiful night, and smiling at the stars, reascended the Rue Cherche- 
Midi, or Chasse-Midi, as it was then called. As he found himself in 



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the quarter in which Aramis lived, he took it into his head to pay his 
friend a visit, in order to explain to him why he had sent Planchet to 
him, with a request that he would come instantly to the Mouse-trap. 
Now, if Aramis was at home when Planchet came to his abode, he had 
doubtless hastened to the Rue des Fossoyeurs, and finding nobody 
there but his two other companions, perhaps they would not be able to 
conceive what all this meant. This mystery required an explanation ; 
at least, so D'Artagnan thought. 

And he likewise whispered to himself that he thought this was an 
opportunity for talking about pretty little Madame Bonacieux, of whom 
his head, if not his heart, was already full. We must never look for 
discretion in first love. First love is accompanied by such excessive 
joy, that unless this joy be allowed to overflow, it will stifle you. 

Paris for two hours past had been dark, and began to be deserted* 
Eleven o'clock struck by all the clocks of the Faubourg Saint-Germain ; 
it was delightful weather ; D'Artagnan was passing along a lane upon 
the spot where the Rue d'Assas is now situated, respiring the balmy 
emanations which were borne upon the wind from the Rue Vaugirard, 
and which arose from the gardens refreshed by the dews of evening 
and the breeze of night. From a distance sounded, deadened, however, 
by good shutters, the songs of the tipplers enjoying themselves in the 
cabarets in the plain. When arrived at the end of the lane, D'Artag- 
nan turned to the left. The house in which Aramis dwelt was situated 
between the Rue Cassette and the Rue Servandoni. 

D'Artagnan had just passed the Rue Cassette, and already perceived 
the door of his friend's nouse, shaded by a mass of sycamores and cle- 
matis, which formed avast arch opposite the front of it, when he perceived 
something like a shadow issuing from the Rue Servandoni. This some- 
thing was enveloped in a cloak, and D'Artagnan at first believed it was 
a man ; but by the smallness of the form, the hesitation of the progress, 
and the indecision of the step, he soon discovered that it was a woman. 
Further, this woman, as if not certain of the house she was seeking, 
lifted up her eyes to look around her, stopped, went a little back, and 
then returned again. D'Artagnan was perplexed. 

" If I were to go and offer her my services !" thought he. " By her 
step she must be young, perhaps pretty. Oh ! yes. But a woman who 
wanders about the streets at this hour seldom does so but to meet her 
lover. Peste ! to go and disturb an assignation would not be the best 
means of commencing an acquaintance." 

The young woman, however, continued advancing slowly, counting 
the houses and windows. This was neither a long nor a difficult affair ; 
there were but three hotels, in this part of the street, two windows 
looking out upon that street, and one of them was that of a pavilion 
parallel to that which Aramis occupied, the other was that of Aramis 

" Pardieu !" said D'Artagnan to himself, to whose mind the niece of 
the theologian reverted ; M Pardieu ! it would-be droll if this late flying 
dove should be in search of our friend's house. But, by my soul, that 


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seems more than probable. Ah ! my dear friend Aramis, this time, I 
will find you out" 

And D'Artagnan, making himself as small as he could, concealed him- 
self in the darkest side of the street, near a stone bench placed at the 
back of a niche. 

The young woman continued to advance, for, in addition to the light- 
ness of her step, which had betrayed her, she had just emitted a little 
cough which announced a clear sweet voice. D'Artagnan believed this 
cough to be a signal. 

Nevertheless, whether this cough had been answered to by an equi- 
valent signal, which had removed the resolution of the nocturnal seeker, 
or whether she had recognized that she had arrived at the end of her 
journey, she boldly drew near to Aramis's shutter, and tapped at three 
equal intervals with her bent finger. 

" This is all very fine, friend Aramis," murmured D'Artagnan. " Ah ! 
master hypocrite ! this is the way you study theology, is it ?" 

The three blows were scarcely struck, when the inward casement was 
opened, and a light appeared through the apertures of the shutter. 

44 Ah ! ah \ n said the listener, '* not through doors, but through win- 
dows ! Ah ! ah ! this was an expected visit. We shall see the windows 
open, and the lady enter by escalade ! Very pretty !" 

But to the great astonishment of D'Artagnan, the shutter remained 
closed Still more, the light which had shone out for an instant dis- 
appeared, and all was dark again. 

D'Artagnan thought this could not last long, and continued to look 
with all his eyes, and listen with all his ears. 

He was right : at the end of some seconds two sharp taps were heard 
in the interior ; the young woman of the street replied by a single tap, 
and the shutter was opened a little way. 

It may be judged whether D'Artagnan looked or listened with avidity. 
Unfortunately the light had been removed into another chamber. But 
the eves of the young man were accustomed to the night. "Besides, the 
eyes of Gascons have, as it is asserted, like those of cats, the faculty of 
seeing in the dark. 

D'Artagnan then saw that the young woman took from her pocket a 
white object, which she unfolded quickly, and which took the form of a 
handkerchief. She made her interlocutor observe the corner of this 
unfolded object. 

This immediately recalled to D'Artagnan's mind the handkerchief 
which he had found at the feet of Madame Bonacieux, which had re- 
minded him of that which he had dragged from under Aramis's foot. 

44 What the devil could that handkerchief mean ?" 

Placed where he was, D'Artagnan could not perceive the face of Aramis ; 
we say Aramis, because the young man entertained no doubt that it was 
his friend who held this dialogue from the interior with the lady of the 
exterior ; curiosity prevailed over prudence, and taking advantage of 
the preoccupation in which the sight of the handkerchief appeared to 
have plunged the two personages now on the scene,, he stole from his 


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hiding place, and quick as lightning, but stepping with utmost caution, 
he went and placed himself close to the angle of the wall, from which 
his eye could plunge into the interior of the apartment. 

Upon gaining this advantage, D'Artagnan was near uttering a cry of 
surprise ; it was not Aramis who was conversing with the nocturnal 
visitor, it was a woman ! D'Artagnan, however, could only see enough 
to recognise the form of her vestments, not enough to distinguish her 

At the same instant the woman ot the apartment drew a second 
handkerchief from her pocket, and exchanged it for that which had just 
been shown to her. Then some words were pronounced by the two 
women. At length the shutter was closed : the woman who was outside 
the window turned round, and passed within four steps of D'Artagnan, 
pulling down the hood of her cloak ; but the precaution was too late, 
D'Artagnan had already recognised Madame Bonacieux. 

Madame Bonacieux ! The suspicion that it was she had crossed the 
mind of D'Artagnan when she drew the handkerchief from her pocket ; 
but what probability was there that Madame Bonacieux, who had sent 
for M. Laporte, in order to be reconducted to the Louvre, should be 
running about the streets of Paris, at half-past eleven at night, at the risk 
of being carried off a second time ? 

It must be, then, for some affair of importance : and what is the affair 
of the greatest importance to a pretty woman of twenty-five ? Love. / 

But was it on her own account or on account of another person that 
she exposed herself to such hazards? This was a question the young 
man asked himself, whom the demon of jealousy already gnawed to the 
heart, neither more nor less than a settled lover. 

There was, besides, a very simple means of satisfying himself whither 
Madame Bonacieux was going : that was to follow her. This means 
was so simple, that D'Artagnan employed it quite naturally and in- 

But at the sight of the young man, who detached himself from his 
wall like a statue walking from its niche, and at the noise of the steps 
which she heard resound behind her, Madame Bonacieux uttered a 
little cry and fled. 

D'Artagnan ran after her. It was not a very difficult thing for him 
to overtake a woman embarrassed with her cloak. He came up to her 
before she had traversed a third of the street. The unfortunate woman 
was exhausted, not by fatigue, but by terror, and when D'Artagnan 
placed his hand upon her shoulder, she sank upon one knee, crying in a 
choking voice : 

" Kill me, if you please, you shall know nothing !" 

D'Artagnan raised her by passing his arm round her waist ; but as he 
felt by her weight she was on the point of fainting, he made haste to 
reassure her by protestations of devotedness. These protestations were 
nothing for Madame Bonacieux, for such protestations may be made 
with the worst intentions in the world ; but the voice was all. Madame 
Bonacieux thought she recognised the sound of that voice ; she opened 


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her eyes, cast a quick glance upon the man who had terrified her so, 
and at once perceiving it was D'Artagnan, she uttered a cry of joy. 

" Oh ! it is you ! it is you ! thank God ! thank God V 

" Yes, it is I ! " said D'Artagnan, " it is I, whom God has sent to watch 
over you." 

"Was it with that intention you followed me?" asked the young woman, 
with a coquettish smile, whose somewhat bantering character resumed 
its influence, and with whom all fear had disappeared from the moment 
in which she recognised a friend in one she had taken for an enemy. 

" No," said D'Artagnan ; "no, I confess it : it was chance that threw 
me in your way ; I saw a female knocking at the window of one of my 

"Of one of your friends V interrupted Madame Bonacieux. 

"Without doubt ; Aramis is one of my most intimate friends." 

" Aramis ! who is he T 

" Come, come, you won't tell me you don't know Aramis ?" 

" This is the first time I ever heard his name pronounced." 

" It is the first time, then, that you ever went to that house ?" 

" Certainly it is." 

" And you did not know that it was inhabited by a young man ?" 

" No." 

" By a.musketeer ?" 

" Not at ail." 

" It was not him, then, you came to seek ?" 

" Not the least in the world. Besides, you must have seen that the 
person I spoke to was a woman." 

" That is true ; but this woman may be one of the friends of 

" I know nothing of th t." 

" Since she lodges with him." 

" That does not concern me." 

"But who is she?" 

" Oh ! that is not my secret." 

" My dear Madame Bonacieux, you are charming ; but at the same 
time you are one of the most mysterious women." 

" Do I lose much by that ?" 

" No ; you are, on the contrary, adorable !" 

" Give me your arm, then." 

" Most willingly. And now ?" 

" Now conduct me." 


" Where I am going." 

" But where are you going ?" 

" You will see, because you will leave me at the door. 

11 Shall I wait for you ?" 

"That will be useless." 

" You will return alone, then ?' 

" Perhaps I may, perhaps I may not," 


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" But will the person who shall accompany you afterwards be a man 
or a woman ?' 

" I don't know yet." 

" But I will know it r 

" How r 

u I will wait for your coming out.'* 

"In that case, adieu !" < fr 

"Why so?' r 

"J do not want you." ' 

" But you have claimed " 

" The aid of a gentleman, not the watchfulness of a spy." 

" The word is rather hard." 

" How are they called who follow others in spite of them?" 

" Thev are indiscreet." 

u The" word is too mild." 

" Well, madame, I perceive I must act as you please." 

" Why did you deprive yourself of the merit of doing so at 

"Is there no merit in repentance ?" 

" And you do really repent ?" 

" I know nothing about it myself. But what I know is, that I pro- 
mise to do all you wish if you will allow me to accompany you where 
you are going." 

" And you will leave me afterwards ?" 


" Without waiting for my coming out again ?" 

" No." 

" Parole d'honneur r 

M By the faith of a gentleman." 

" Take my arm, then, and let us go on." 

D'Artagnan offered his arm to Madame Bonacieux, who willingly took 
it, half laughing, half trembling, and both gained the top of Rue la 
Harpe. When arrived there the young woman seemed to hesitate, as 
she had before done in the Rue Vaugirard. She, however, appeared 
by certain signs, to recognize a door ; and approaching that door, — 

" And now, monsieur," said she, " it is here I have business ; a thou- 
sand thanks for your honourable company, which has saved me from 
all the dangers to which, alone, I might have been exposed. But the 
moment is come to keep your word : I am arrived at the place of my 

" And you will have nothing to fear on your return ?" 

" I shall have nothing to fear but robbers." 

"And is that nothing?" 

" What could they take from me ? — I have not a denier about me." 

" You forget that beautiful handkerchief, with the coat of arms." 


" That which I found at your feet, and replaced in your pocket !" 

* $ilence ! silence ! imprudent man ! Do you wish to destroy me ?" 


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u You see very plainly that there is still danger for you, since a single 
word makes you tremble ; and you confess that if that word were heard 
you would be ruined. Come, come, madame !" cried D'Artagnan, 
seizing her hands, and surveying her with an ardent glance ; " come ! 
be more generous— trust to me ; have you not read in my eyes, that 
there is nothing but devotion and sympathy in my heart ?" 

" Yes," replied Madame Bonacieux; "therefore, ask my own secrets, 
and I will tell them to you ; but those of others, — that is quite another 

" It is all very well," said D'Artagnan. " I shall discover them ; as 
these secrets may have an influence over your life, these secrets must 
become mine." 

41 Beware of what you do !" cried the young woman, in a manner so 
serious as made D'Artagnan start, in spite of himself. " Oh ! meddle 
in nothing which concerns me ; do not seek to assist me in that which 
I am accomplishing. And this I ask of you in the name of the interest 
with which 1 inspire you ; in the name of the service you have rendered 
me, and which I never shall forget while I have life. Rather place faith 
in what I tell you. Take no more concern about me ; I exist no longer 
for you, any more than if you had never seen me." 

" Must Aramis do as much as I, madame ?" said D'Artagnan, deeply 

" This is the second or third time, monsieur, that you have repeated 
that name, and yet I have told you that I do not know him." 

" You do not know the man at whose shutter you went and knocked ? 
Indeed, madame, you think me too credulous !" 

" Confess, now, that it is for the sake of making me talk that you 
invent this history, and create this personage." 

14 1 invent nothing, madame : I create nothing : I only speak the exact 

"And you say that one of your friends lives in that house." 

" I say so, and I repeat it for the third time ; that house is that in 
which one of my friends live ; and that friend is Aramis." 

" All this will be cleared up at a later period," murmured the young 
woman ; *'no, monsieur, be silent." 

" If you could see my heart," said D'Artagnan, " you would there 
read so much curiosity that you would pity me ; and so much love, that 
you would instantly satisfy my curiosity. We have nothing to fear from 
those who love us." 

"You speak very quickly of love, monsieur!" said the young woman, 
shaking her head. - 

"That is because love has come suddenly upon me, and for the first 
time ; and because I am only twenty years old." 

The young woman looked at him furtively. 

" Listen ; I am already upon the scent," resumed D'Artagnan. " About 
three months ago I was near having a duel with Aramis, concerning a 
handkerchief resembling that you showed to the female in the house ; 
for a handkerchief marked in the same manner, I am sure." 


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" Monsieur," said the young woman, " you fatigue me very much, I 
assure you, by your questions." 

" But you, madame ! prudent as you are, think, if you were to be 
arrested with that handkerchief, and that handkerchief were to be 
seized, would you not be compromised ?' 

" In what way : are not the initials mine — C. B.— Constance Bona- 
cieux ?" 

" Or Camille de Bois-Tracy." 

" Silence, monsieur ! once again, silence ! Ah ! since the dangers I 
incur on my own account cannot stop you, think of those you may 
yourself run !" 

" Danger for me ?" 

" Yes ; there is risk of imprisonment, risk of life, in knowing me." 

" Then I will not leave you." 

" Monsieur !" said the young woman, supplicating him, and clasping 
her hands together ; " monsieur, in the name of heaven, by the name of 
a soldier, by the courtesy of a gentleman, depart ! — there !— there is 
midnight striking !— that is the hour at which I am expected." 

" Madame," said the young man, bowing ; " I can refuse nothing 
asked of me thus ; be satisfied, I will depart." 

" But, you will not follow me ; you will not watch me ?' 

" I will return home instantly." 

" Ah ! I was quite sure you were a good and brave young man," said 
Madame Bonacieux, holding out her hand to him, and placing the other 
upon the knocker of a little door almost hidden in the wall. 

D'Artagnan seized the hand that was held out to him, and kissed it 

" Ah ! I wish I had never seen you !" cried D'Artagnan, with that 
ingenuous roughness which women often prefer to the affectations of 
politeness, because it betrays the depth of the thought, and proves that 
feeling prevails over reason. 

" Well !" resumed Madame Bonacieux, in a voice that was almost 
caressing, and pressing the hand of D'Artagnan, who had not left hold 
of hers, " well ! I will not say as much as you do : what is lost for to- 
day, may not be lost for ever. Who knows, when I shall be some day 
at liberty, that I may not satisfy your curiosity ?" 

" And, will you make the same promise to my love ?" cried D'Artag- 
nan, beside himself with joy. 

" Oh ! as to that, I do not engage myself ; that depends upon the sen- 
timents you may inspire me with." 

" Then, to-day, madame " 

" Oh ! to-day, I have got no further than gratitude." 

" Ah ! you are too charming,"' said D'Artagnan, sorrowfully ; " and 
you abuse my love." 

" No, I use your generosity ; that's all. But be of good cheer ; with 
certain people, everything comes round." 

" Oh ! you render me the happiest of men ! Do not forget this even- 
ing — do not forget that promise." 


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" Be satisfied, in time and place I will remember everything. Well ! 
now then, go ; go, in the name of Heaven ! I was expected exactly at 
midnight, and I am late." 

" By five minutes." 

" Yes ; but in certain circumstances, five minutes are five ages." 

" When one loves." 

" Weil ! and who told you I had not to do with some one in love P 

" It is a man, then, that expects you V cried D'Artagnan, — " a man !" 

" Oh, Lord ! oh, Lord ! there is the discussion going to begin again !" 
said Madame Bonacieux, with a half- smile, which was not quite free 
from a tinge of impatience. 

" No, no ; I am going, I am going ; I believe in you, and I would 
have all the merit of my devotedness, if that devotedness were even a 
stupidity. Adieu, madame, adieu !" 

And as if he only felt the strength to detach himself from the hand 
he held by a violent effort, he sprang away, running, whilst Madame 
Bonacieux knocked, as she had done at the shutter, three light and 
regular taps ; then, when he had gained the angle of the street, he 
returned : the door had been opened, and shut again — the mercer's 
pretty wife had disappeared. 

D'Artagnan pursued his way ; he had given his word not to watch 
Madame Bonacieux, and if his life had depended upon the spot to which 
she was going, or the person who should accompany her, D'Artagnan 
would have returned home, since he had promised that he would do so. 
In five minutes he was in the Rue des Fossoyeurs. 

" Poor Athos !" said he ; " he will never guess what all this means. 
He will have fallen asleep waiting for me, or else he will have relumed 
home, where he will have learned that a woman had been there. A 
woman at Athos's house ! After all," continued D'Artagnan, " there 
was certainly one in Aramis's house. All this is very strange ; I should 
like to know how it will all end." 

" Badly ! monsieur — badly !'' replied a voice, which the young man 
recognised as that of Planchet ; for, soliloquising aloud, as very pre- 
occupied people do, he had entered the alley, at the bottom of which 
were the stairs which led to his chamber. 

" How, badly ? What do you mean by that, you stupid fellow ?" asked 
D'Artagnan ; " what has happened, then ?' 

"All sorts of misfortunes." 


" In the first place, M. Athos is arrested." 

" Arrested ! Athos arrested ! What for ?" 

" He was found in your lodging, — they took him for you." 

" And by whom was he arrested ?" 

" By the guards whom the black men you put to flight fetched." 

" Why did he not tell them his name ? Why did he not tell them he 
knew nothing about this affair ?" 

" He took care not to do so, monsieur ; on the contrary, he came up 
to me, and said, ' It is your master that wants his liberty at this mo- 


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ment, and not I, since he knows everything, and I know nothing.' 
They will believe he is arrested, and that will give him time ; in three 
days I will tell them who I am, and they cannot fail to set me at liberty 

" Bravo, Athos ! noble heart !" murmured D'Artagnan. " I know 
him well there ! And what did the sbirri do ?" 

" Four conveyed him away, I don't know where — to the Bastille or 
For l'EvSque ; two remained with the black men, who rummaged every 
place out, and took all the papers ; the two last mounted guard at the 
door during this examination ; then, when all was over, they went away, 
leaving the house empty and the doors open." 

" And Porthos and Aramis ?" 

" I could not find them ; they did not come." 

" But they may come from one moment to the other, for you left 
word that I wanted them ?" 

" Yes, monsieur." 

" Well, don't stir, then ; if they come, tell them what has happened. 
Let them wait for me at the Pomme de Pin ; here it would be dangerous 
— the house may be watched. I will run to M. de TreVille's to tell him 
all this, and will join them there." 

" Very well, monsieur/' said Planchet 

" But you will remain, will you not ? You are not afraid ?" said 
D'Artagnan, coming back to recommend courage to his lackey. 

" Be satisfied, monsieur," said Planchet ; " you do not know me yet 
I am brave when I set about it— I have only to begin ; besides, I am a 

"Then that's understood," said D'Artagnan ; "you would rather be 
killed than desert your post ?" 

" Yes, monsieur ; and there is nothing I would not do to prove to 
monsieur that I am attached to him." 

" Good !" said D'Artagnan to himself. " It appears that the method 
I have adopted with this boy is decidedly a good one ; I shall employ 
it upon occasion." 

And with all the swiftness of his legs, already a little fatigued, how- 
ever, with the exercise of the day and night, D'Artagnan directed his 
course towards M. de TreVille's. 

M. de TreVille was not at his hotel ; his company was on guard at the 
Louvre ; he was at the Louvre with his company. 

He must get at M. de Tre'ville ; it was of importance that he should 
be informed of what was going on. D'Artagnan resolved to endeavour 
to get into the Louvre. His costume of a guard in the company of M. 
des Essarts would, he thought, be a passport for him. 

He therefore went down the Rue des Petits Augustins, and came up 
to the quay, in order to take the Pont Neuf. He had an idea of passing 
over by the ferry-boat ; but, on gaining the river-side, he had mechani- 
cally put his hand into his pocket, and perceived that he had not where- 
withal to pay the ferryman. 
As he gained the top of the Rue Gue"negaud, he saw two persons, 


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Coming out of the Rue Dauphine whose appearance very much struck 
him. One was a man, and the other a woman : the latter very much 
like Madame Bonacieux in size and step, the former could be nobody 
but Aramis. 

Besides, the woman had on that black cloak whose outline D'Artagnan 
could still see reflected upon the shutter of the Rue de Vaugirard, and 
upon the door of the Rue de la Harpe. 

And still further, the man wore the uniform of a musketeer. 

The woman's hood was pulled down r and the man held a handkerchief 
to his face ; both, this double precaution indicated — both had an interest 
in not being known then. 

They took the bridge ; that was D'Artagnan's road, as D'Artagnan 
was going to the Louvre ; D'Artagnan followed them. 

He had not gone twenty steps before he became convinced that the 
woman was really Madame Bonacieux, and the man Aramis. 

He felt himself doubly betrayed— by his friend, and by her whom he 
already loved as a mistress. Madame Bonacieux had declared to him, 
by all that was holy, that she did not know Aramis ; and, a quarter of 
an hour after having made this assertion, he found her hanging on the 
arm of Aramis. 

D'Artagnan did not reflect that he had only known the mercer's 
pretty wife for three hours ; that she owed him nothing but a little 
gratitude for having delivered her from the black men who wished to 
carry her off, and that she had promised him nothing. He considered 
himself to be an outraged, betrayed, and ridiculed lover ; blood and 
anger mounted to his face — he was resolved to unravel the mystery. 

The young man and woman perceived they were watched, and re- 
doubled their speed. D'Artagnan determined upon his course : he 
passed them, then returned, so as to meet them exactly before the 
Samaritaine, which was illuminated by a lamp, which threw its light 
over all that part of the bridge. 

D'Artagnan stopped before them, and they stopped before him. 

" What do you want, monsieur ?" demanded the musketeer, drawing 
back a step, and with a foreign accent, which proved to D'Artagnan 
that he was deceived in one part of his conjectures at least 

" It is not Aramis !" cried he. 

" No, monsieur, it is not Aramis ; and by your exclamation I perceive 
you have mistaken me for another, and pardon you." 

" You pardon me !" cried D'Artagnan. 

" Yes, replied the unknown. " Allow me, then, to pass on, since it 
is not with me you have anything to do." 

" You are right, monsieur, it is not with you I have anything to do ; 
it is with madame, here." 

" With madame ! You do not know her I" replied the stranger. 

" You are deceived, monsieur ; I know her very well." 

" Ah," said Madame Bonacieux, in a tone of reproach, "ah, monsieur, 
I had the promise of a soldier and the word of a gentleman ; I thought 
I might have depended upon them !" 


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"And I, madame !" said D'Artagnan, embarrassed— " you promised 
me " 

" Take my arm, madame," said the stranger, " and let us proceed on 
our way." 

D'Artagnan, however, stupefied, cast down, annihilated by all that 
happened so strangely to him, still stood, with his arms crossed, before 
the musketeer and Madame Bonacieux. 

The musketeer advanced two steps, and pushed D'Artagnan aside 
with his hand. 

D'Artagnan made a spring backwards, and drew his sword. 

At the same time, and with the rapidity of lightning, the unknown 
drew his. 

"In the name of heaven, milord !" cried Madame Bonacieux, throw- 
ing herself between the combatants, and seizing the swords with her 

" Milord !" cried D'Artagnan, enlightened by a sudden idea, " milord ! 
Pardon me, monsieur, but are you not * 

" Milord, the Duke of Buckingham !" said Madame Bonacieux, in an 
undertone ; " and now you may ruin us all." 

" Milord — madame, I ask a hundred pardons 1 but I love her, milord, 
and was jealous ; you know what it is to love, milord. Pardon me, and 
then tell me how I can risk my life to serve your grace ?" 

" You are a brave young man !" said Buckingham, holding out his 
hand to D'Artagnan, who pressed it respectfully. " You offer me your 
services ; with the same frankness I accept them. Follow us at a dis- 
tance of twenty paces, to the Louvre, and if any one watches us, slay 
him !" 

D'Artagnan placed his naked sword under his arm, allowed the 
duke and Madame Bonacieux to proceed twenty steps, and then fol- 
lowed them, ready to execute the instructions of the noble and elegant 
minister of Charles I. 

But fortunately he had no opportunity to give the duke this proof of 
his devotion, and the young woman and the handsome musketeer en- 
tered the Louvre by the wicket of the Echelle, without meeting with 
any interruption. 

As for D'Artagnan, he immediately repaired to the cabaret of the 
Pomme-de-Pin, where he found Porthos and Aram is, who were waiting 
for him. But, without giving them any explanation of the alarm and 
inconvenience he had caused them, he told them that he had terminated 
the affair alone, in which he had, for a moment, thought he should stand 
in need of their assistance. 

And now, carried away as we are by our history, we must leave our 
three friends to return each to his own home, and follow the Duke of 
Buckingham and his guide through the labyrinths of the Louvre 


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Madame Bonacieux and the duke entered the Louvre without diffi- 
culty : Madame Bonacieux was known to belong to the queen, the 
duke wore the uniform of the musketeers of M. de Tre'ville, who were, 
as we have said, that evening on guard. Besides, Germain was in the 
Interests of the queen, and, if anything should happen, Madame Bo- 
nacieux would only be accused of having introduced her lover into the 
Louvre. She took the risk upon herself ; to be sure her reputation was 
jeopardised, but of what value in the world was the reputation of the 
little wife of a mercer ? 

Once entered into the interior of the court, the duke and the young 
woman kept along the wall for about twenty-five steps ; this space 
passed, Madame Bonacieux pushed a little side-door, open by day, but 
generally closed at night. The door yielded : both entered, and found 
themselves in darkness ; but Madame Bonacieux was acquainted with 
all the turnings and windings of this part of the Louvre, destined for 
the people of the household. She closed the door after her, took the 
duke by the hand, advanced a little, feeling her way, came to a balus- 
trade, put her foot upon the bottom step, and began to ascend a flight 
of stairs ; the duke counted two stories. She then turned to the right, 
followed the course of a long corridor, redescended a story, went a few 
steps further, introduced a key into a lock, opened a door, and pushed 
the duke into an apartment lighted only by a night lamp, saying, 
" Remain here, milord-duke ; some one will come." She then went 
out by the sjme door, which she locked, so that the duke found himself 
literally a prisoner. 

Nevertheless, isolated as he was, we must say that the Duke of 
Buckingham did not experience an instant of fear : one of the salient 
sides of his character was the seeking of adventures and a love of the 
romantic. Brave, even rash, and enterprising, this was not the first 
time he had risked his life in such attempts ; he had learnt that the 
pretended message from Anne of Austria, upon the faith of which he 
had come to Paris, was a snare, and instead of regaining England, he 
had, abusing the position in which he had been placed, declared to the 
queen that he would not go back again without having seen her. The 
queen had at first positively refused, but at length became afraid that 
the duke, if exasperated, would commit some rashness. She had already 
decided upon seeing him and urging his immediate departure, when, 
on the very evening of coming to this decision, Madame Bonacieux, 
who was charged with going to fetch the duke and conducting him to 
the Louvre, was carried off. During two days it was not known what 
had become of her, and everything remained in suspense. But when 
once free, and placed in communication with Laporte, matters resumed 
their course, and she accomplished the perilous enterprise which, but 
for her abduction, would have been executed three days earlier. 


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Buckingham, on being left alone, walked towards a mirror. ttiS 
musketeePs uniform became him wonderfully well. 

At thirty-five, which was then his age, he passed, with just title, for 
the handsomest gentleman and the moat elegant cavalier of France or 

The favourite of two kings, immensely rich, all powerful in a kingdom 
which he threw into disorder at his fancy, and calmed again at his 
caprice, George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, passed through one of 
those fabulous existences which remain in the course of centuries as an 
astonishment for posterity. 

Thus, sure of himself, convinced of his own power, certain that the 
laws which rule other men could not reach him, he went straight to the 
object he aimed at, even were this object so elevated and so dazzling 
that it would have been madness for any other even to have contem- 
plated it It was thus he had succeeded in gaining access several times 
to the beautiful and haughty Anne of Austria, and making himself loved 
by her, by astonishing her. 

George Villiers then placed himself before the mirror, as we have said, 
restored the undulations to his beautiful hair, which the weight of his 
hat had disordered, turned his moustache, and, with a heart swelling 
with joy, happy and proud of being near the moment he had so long 
sighed for, he smiled upon himself with pride and hope. 

At this moment a door concealed in the tapestry opened, and a woman 
appeared. Buckingham saw this apparition in the glass ; he uttered a 
cry — it was the queen ! 

Anne of Austria was then from twenty-six to twenty-seven years of 
age — that is to say, she was in the full splendour of her beauty. 

Her carriage was that of a queen or a goddess ; her eyes, which cast 
the brilliancy of emeralds, were perfectly beautiful, and yet Vere, at the 
same time, full of sweetness and majesty. 

Her mouth was small and rosy, and although her under-lip, like that 
of the princes of the house of Austria, protruded slightly beyond the 
other, it was eminently lovely in its smile, but as profoundly disdainful 
in the expression of contempt. 

Her skm was admired for its velvety softness, her hands and arms 
were of surpassing beauty, all the poets of the time singing them as in- 

Lastly, her hair, which, from being light in her youth, had become 
chestnut, and which she wore curled very plain, and with much powder, 
admirably set off her face, in which the most rigid critic could only have 
descried a little less rouge, and the most fastidious statuary a little more 
fineness in the nose. 

Buckingham remained for a moment dazzled ; never had Anne of 
Austria appeared to him so beautiful, amidst balls, fetes, or carousals, 
as she appeared to him at this moment, dressed in a simple robe of white 
satin, and accompanied by Donna Estafania, the only one of her Spanish 
women that had not been driven from her by the jealousy of the king, 
or by the persecutions of the cardinal. 


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Anne of Austria made two steps forward ; Buckingham threw himself 
at her feet, and before the queen could prevent him, kissed the hem ot 
her robe. 

" Duke, you already know that it is not I who have caused you to be 
written to. 

" Yes, yes, madame ! yes, your majesty !" cried the duke ; " I know 
that I must have been mad, senseless, to believe that snow would 
become animated or marble warm ; but what then ! they who love easily 
believe in love ; — besides, this voyage is not a loss, since I see you." 

u Yes," replied Anne, " but you know why and how I see you, milord ! 
I See you out of pity for yourself ; I see you because, insensible to all 
my sufferings, you persist in remaining in a city where, by remaining, 
you run the risk of your own life, and make me run the risk of my 
honour ; I see you to tell you that everything separates us, the depths 
of the sea, the enmity of kingdoms, the sanctity of vows. It is sacrilege 
to struggle against so many things, milord. In short, I see you to tell 
you that we must never see each other again." 

" Speak on, madame, speak on,queen," said Buckingham; "the sweet- 
ness of your voice covers the harshness of your words. You talk ot 
sacrilege ! why, the sacrilege is the separation of two hearts formed by 
God for each other." 

" Milord," cried the queen, " you forget that I have never told you I 
loved you." 

" But you have never told me that you did not love me, and truly, to 
speak such words to me would be, on the part of your majesty, too great 
an ingratitude. For tell me, where can you find a love like mine, a love 
which neither time, nor absence, nor despair can extinguish ; a love 
which contents itself with a lost ribbon, a stray look, or a chance word ? 
It is now three years, madame, since I saw you for the first time, and 
during those three years I have loved you thus. 

" Shall I tell you how you were dressed the first time I saw you ? 
shall I describe to you every one of the ornaments you wore ? Mark ! 
I see you now ; you were seated upon cushions, in the Spanish fashion ; 
you wore a robe of green satin embroidered with gold and silver, hang- 
ing sleeves, fastened up upon your beautiful arms, upon those lovely 
arms, with large diamonds ; you wore a close ruff, a small cap upon 
your head of the same colour as your robe, and in that cap a heron's 

" Oh, madame ! madame ! I shut my eyes, and I can see you such as 
you then were ; I open them again, and I see you such as you are now 
— a hundred times still more beautiful !" 

" What folly !" murmured Anne of Austria, who had not the courage 
to find fault with the duke for having so well preserved her portrait in 
his heart ; " what folly to feed a useless passion with such remem- 
brances !" 

** And upon what then must I live ? I have nothing but remembrances. 
They are my happiness, my treasures, my hopes. Every time that I 
see you is a fresh diamond which I enclose in the casket of my heart. 



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This is the fourth which you have let fall and I have picked up ; for, in 
three years, madame, I have only seen you four times ; the first which 
I have just described to you, the second at the mansion of Madame de 
Chevreuse, the third in the gardens of Amiens." 

" Duke," said the queen, blushing, " never name that evening." 

" Oh, yes ! let me speak of it, on the contrary, let me speak of it ; 
that is the most happy and brilliant evening of my life ! Do you not 
remember what a beautiful night it was ? How soft and perfumed the 
air was ? and how lovely the blue star-enamelled sky was ? 

" Ah ! that time, madame, I was able for one instant to be alone with 
you ; that time you were about to tell me all, the isolation of your life, 
the griefs of your heart You leant upon my arm ; upon this, madame I 
I felt, as leaning my head towards you, your beautiful hair touched my 
cheek, and every time that it did touch me, I trembled from head to 
foot. Oh, queen, queen ! you do not know what felicity from heaven, 
what joys from Paradise, are comprised in a moment like that ! I would 
give all my wealth, all my fortunes, all my glory, all the days I have to 
live, for such an instant, for a night like that ! for that night, madame-. 
that night you loved me, I will swear it" 

" Milord, yes, it is possible that the influence of the place, the charm 
of the beautiful evening, the fascination of your look, the thousand cir- 
cumstances, in short, which sometimes unite to destroy a woman, were 
grouped around me on that fatal evening ; but, milord, you saw the 
aueen come to the aid of the woman who faltered : at the first word you 
dared to utter, at the first freedom to which I had to reply, I summoned 
my attendants." 

" Yes, yes ! that is true, and any other love but mine would have 
sunk beneath this ordeal, but my love came out from it more ardent and 
more eternal. You believed you should fly from me by returning to 
Paris, you believed that I should not dare to quit the treasure over 
which my master had charged me to watch. What to me were all the 
treasures in the world, or all the kings of the earth ! Eight days after 
I was back again, madame. That time you had nothing to say to me ; 
I had risked my life and my favour to see you but for a second ; I did 
not even touch your hand, and you pardoned me on seeing me so sub- 
missive and so repentant." 

" Yes, but calumny seized upon all those follies in which I took no 
part, as you well know, milord. The king, excited by M. the Cardinal, 
made a terrible clamour ; Madame de Vernet was driven from me, 
Putange was exiled, Madame de Chevreuse fell into disgrace, and when 
you wished to come back as ambassador to France, the king himself, 
remember, milord, the king himself opposed it" 

" Yes, and France is about to pay for her king's refusal with a war. 
I am not allowed to see you, madame, but you shall every day hear 
speak of me ! What object, think you, have this expedition to Re* and 
this league with the Protestants of Rochelle which I am projecting ? 
The pleasure of seeing you. 

" I have no hope of penetrating sword in hand to Paris, I know that 


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well ; but this war may bring round a peace, this peace will require a 
negotiator, that negotiator will be me. They will not dare to refuse me 
then, and I will see you, and will be happy for an instant. Thousands 
of men, it is true, will have to pay for my happiness with their lives, 
but what will that signify to me, provided I see you again ! All 
this is perhaps madness, folly, but tell me what woman has a lover 
more truly in love ? what queen has a servant more faithful or more 
ardent ?" 

" Milord ! milord ! you invoke in your defence things which accuse 
you more strongly : milord, all these proofs of love that you boast are 
little better than crimes." 

" Because you do not love me, madamc : if you loved me, you would 
view all this much otherwise : if you loved me, oh ! if you loved me, 
that would be happiness too great, and I should run mad. Ah ! 
Madame de Chevreuse, of whom you spoke but now, Madame de 
Chevreuse was less cruel than you. . Holland loved her, and she re- 
sponded to his love." 

" Madame de Chevreuse was not a queen," murmured Anne of Aus- 
tria, overcome in spite of herself by the expression of so profound a 

" You would love me, then, if you were not one; you, madame, say that 
you would love me then ? I am then to believe that it is the dignity of 
your rank alone that makes you cruel to me : I may then believe that 
if you had been Madame de Chevreuse, the poor Buckingham might 
have hoped ? Thanks for those sweet words ! oh, my lovely queen ! a 
hundred times, thanks !" 

" Oh ! milord ! you have ill understood, wrongly interpreted ; I did 
not mean to say " 

" Silence! silence!" cried the duke ; " if I am happy in an error do not 
have the cruelty to deprive me of it. You have told me yourself, ma- 
dame, that I have been drawn into a snare, and I, perhaps, shall leave 
my life in it ; for, although it be strange, I have for some time had a 
presentiment that I shall shortly die." And the duke smiled, with a 
smile at once sad and charming. 

" Oh ! my God !" cried Anne of Austria, with an accent of terror 
which proved how much greater an interest she took in the duke than 
she ventured to tell. 

" I do not tell you this, madame, to terrify you ; no, it is even ridicu- 
lous for me to name it to you, and, believe me, I take no heed of such 
dreams. But the words you have just spoken, the hope you have almost 
given me, will have richly paid all — were it my life." 

"Oh! but I," said Anne, "I, duke, have had presentiments like- 
wise, I have had dreams. I dreamt that I saw you lying bleeding, 

" In the left side, was it not, and with a knife !" interrupted Buck- 

IC Yes, it was so, milord, it was so, in the left side, and with a knife. 



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Who can possibly have told you I had had that dream ; I have im- 
parted it to no one but my God, and that in my prayers." 
" " I ask for no more ; you love me, madame ? it is enough." 

" I love you ! I !" 

" Yes, yes. Would God send the same dreams to you as to me, if 
you did not love me ? Should we have the same presentiments if our 
existences were not associated by our hearts ? You love me, my beauti- 
ful queen, and you will weep for me V 

"Oh ! my God ! my God!" cried Anne of Austria, "this is more 
than I can bear ! In the name of Heaven, duke, leave me, go ! I do 
not know whether I love you or do not love you, but what I know is 
that I will not be a perjured woman. Take pity on me, then, and go. 
Oh ! if you are struck in France, if you die in France, if I could 
imagine that your love for me was the cause of your death, nothing 
could console me, I should run ma<J. Depart, go then, I implore you !" 

" Oh ! how beautiful you are thus ! Oh ! how I love you !" said 

" Oh ! but go ! go ! I implore you, and come back hereafter ; come 
back as ambassador, come back as minister, come back surrounded with 
guards who will defend you, with servants who will watch over you, 
and then — then I shall be no longer in fear for your days, and I shall 
be happy in seeing you." 

" Oh ! is this true, is it true what you say ?' 


" Oh ! then, some pledge of your indulgence, some object which, 
coming from you, may assure me that I have not dreamt ; something 
you have worn, and that I may wear in my turn,— a ring, a necklace, 
a chain." 

" Will you go then, will you go, if I give you that you ask for ?" 

" Yes." 

"This very instant?" 


" You will leave France, you will return to England P 

" I will, I swear to you I will" 

" Wait, then, wait" 

And Anne of Austria re-entered her apartment, and came out again 
almost immediately, holding a casket in her hand made of rosewood, 
with her cipher upon it in gold letters. 

" Here, milord, here," said she, " keep this in memory of me." 

Buckingham took the casket, and fell a second time on his knees. 

" You promised me you would go," said the queen. 

"And I keep my word. Your hand, madame, your hand, and I 

Anne of Austria stretched forth her hand, closing her eyes, and 
leaning with the other upon Estafania, for she felt her strength ready to 
fail her. 

Buckingham applied his lips passionately to that beautiful hand, and 
then rising said : 


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"Within six months if I am not dead, I shall have seen you again, 
madame ; even if I have confounded the whole world for that object, 
1 shall have seen you again." 

Faithful to the promise he had made, with a desperate effort, he 
rushed out of the apartment 

In the corridor he met Madame Bonacieux, who waited for him, and 
who, with the same precautions and the same good fortune, conducted 
him out of the Louvre. 



There was in all this, as may have been observed, one personage 
concerned, of whom, notwithstanding his precarious position, we have 
appeared to take but very little notice ; this personage is M. Bonacieux, 
the respectable martyr of the political and amorous intrigues which 
entangled themselves so nicely together at this gallant and chivalric 

Fortunately, the reader may remember, or may not remember, for- 
tunately, that we promised not to lose sight of him. 

The officers who had arrested him, conducted him straight to the 
Bastille, where he passed tremblingly before a party of soldiers who 
were loading their muskets. 

Thence, introduced into a half-subterranean gallery, he became, on 
the part of those who had brought him, the object of the grossest 
insults and the harshest treatment. The sbirri perceived that they 
had not to deal with a gentleman, and they treated him like a very 

At the end of half-an-hour, or thereabouts, an officer came to put an 
end to his tortures, but not to his inquietudes, by giving the order for 
M. Bonacieux's being led to the chamber of interrogatories. 

Ordinarily, prisoners were interrogated in their own cells, but they 
did not pay so much respect to M. Bonacieux. 

Two guards attended the mercer, who made him traverse a court, 
and enter a corridor in which were three sentinels, opened a door and 
pushed him unceremoniously into an apartment, the whole/urniture 
of which consisted of one table, one chair, and a commissary. The 
commissary was seated in the chair, and was busily writing upon the 

The two guards led the prisoner towards the table, and, upon a sign 
from the commissary, drew back so far as to be unable to hear the 

The commissary, who had till this time held his head down over his 
papers, looked up to see what sort of person he had to do with. This 
commissary was a man of very repulsive mien, with a pointed nose, 
yellow and salient cheek-bones, small, but keen penetrating eyes, and 


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an expression of countenance partaking of the polecat and the fox. 
His head, supported by a long and flexible neck, issued from his large 
black robe, balancing itself with a motion very much like that of the 
tortoise when drawing his head out of his shell. 

He began by asking M. Bonacieux his name, prenames, age, con- 
dition, and abode. 

The accused replied that his name was Jacques Michel Bonacieux, 
that he was fifty-one years old, was a retired mercer, and lived Rue 
des Fossoyeurs, No. 14. 

The commissary then, instead of continuing to interrogate him, 
made him a long speech upon the danger there is for an obscure 
bourgeois to meddle with public matters. 

He complicated this exordium by an exposition in which he painted 
the power and the acts of M. the Cardinal, that incomparable minister, 
that conqueror of past ministers, that example for ministers to come, 
—acts and power which no one would thwart with impunity. 

After this second part of his discourse, fixing his hawk's-eye upon 
poor Bonacieux, he bade him reflect upon the seriousness of his situa- 

The reflections of the mercer were already made ; he had consigned 
to the devil the instant at which M. Laporte had formed the idea of 
marrying him to his goddaughter, but more particularly that instant 
in which that goddaughter had been received lady of the lingerie to 
her majesty. 

The character of M. Bonacieux was one of profound selfishness, 
mixed with sordid avarice, the whole seasoned with extreme cowardice 
The love with which his young wife had inspired him was a secondary 
sentiment, and was not strong enough to contend with the primitive 
feelings we have just enumerated. 

Bonacieux reflected, in fact, upon what had just been said to him. 
" But, M. le Commissaire," said he, timidly, " I beg you to believe 
that I know and appreciate more than anybody the merit of the incom- 
parable eminence by whom we have the honour to be governed. * 

" Indeed T asked the commissary, with an air of doubt, " indeed ? if 
that is really the case, how came you in the Bastille ?" 

" How I came there or rather why I came there," replied Bonacieux, 
" is what it is impossible for me to tell you, because I don't know my- 
self ; but to a certainty it is not for having, knowingly at least, disobliged 
M. the Cardinal." 

" You must, nevertheless, have committed a crime, since you are here, 
and are accused of high treason." 

" Of high treason !" cried the terrified Bonacieux, " of high treason ! 
How is it possible for a poor mercer, who detests all Huguenots, and who 
abhors all Spaniards, to be accused of high treason ? Consider, monsieur, 
the thing is materially impossible." 

" Monsieur Bonacieux," said the commissary, looking at the accused, 
as if his little eyes had the faculty of reading to the very depths of hearts, 
" Monsieur Bonacieux, you have a wife ?" 


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" Yes, monsieur," replied the mercer, in a tremble, feeling that that 
was the point at which affairs were likely to become perplexing, — "that 
is to say, I had one." 

" What ? you had one ! what have you done with her then, if you 
have her no longer ?" 

" She has been carried off from me, monsieur." 

" Been carried off from you ?" said the commissary. " Ah I" 

Bonacieux felt, when he heard this " Ah," that matters were becom- 
ing more and more perplexing. 

" She has been carried off?" resumed the commissary, "and do you 
know who the man is that has committed this outrage ?" 

*' I think I know him." 

"Who is he?" 

" Remember that I affirm nothing, Monsieur le Commissaire, and 
that I only suspect" 

" Whom do you suspect ? Come, answer freely." 

M. Bonacieux was in the greatest perplexity possible : had he better 
deny everything or tell everything ? By denying all, it might be sus- 
pected that he must know too much to be so ignorant ; by confessing 
all, he should prove his good will. He decided then upon telling alL 

" I sus ect," said he, "a tall, dark man, of lofty carriage, who has the 
air of a great lord ; he has followed us several times, as I think, when I 
have waited for my wife at the wicket of the Louvre to fetch her home." 

The commissary appeared to experience a little uneasiness. 

" And his name ?" said he. 

" Oh 1 as to his name, I know nothing about it, but, if I were ever to 
meet him, I should know him in an instant, I will answer for it, even if 
he were among a thousand persons." 

The face of the commissary grew still darker. 

" You should recognise him among a thousand, say you ?" con- 
tinued he. 

" That is to say," cried Bonacieux, who saw he had gone wrong, "that 
is to say, " 

" You have answered that you should recognise him," said the com- 
missar}*, " that is all very well, and enough for to-day ; before we pro- 
ceed further, some one must be informed that you know the ravisher of 
your wife." 

" But I have not told you that I know him !" cried Bonacieux in 
despair, " I told you, on the contrary " 

" Take away the prisoner," said the commissary to the two guards. 

" Where must we place him ?" demanded the officer. 

" In a dungeon." 

" Which r 

u Good Lord ! in the first you come to, provided it be a safe one," said 
the commissary, with an indifference which penetrated poor Bonacieux 
with horror. 

" Alas ! alas !" said he to himself, " misfortune hangs over me ; my 
wife must have committed some frightful crime ; they believe that I 


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am her accomplice, and will punish me with her : she must have spoken, 
she must have confessed everything, a woman is so weak ! A dungeon, 
the first he comes to ! that's it ! one night is soon passed over ; and to- 
morrow to the wheel, to the gallows ! Oh ! my God ! my God ! have 
pity on me !" 

Without listening the least in the world to the lamentations of Master 
Bonacieux, lamentations to which, besides, they must have been pretty 
well accustomed, the two guards took the prisoner each by an arm, and 
led him away, whilst the commissary wrote a letter in haste, and des- 
patched it by an officer in waiting. 

Bonacieux could not close his eyes ; not because his dungeon was so 
very disagreeable, but because his uneasiness was too great to allow him 
to sleep. He sat up all night upon his stool, starting at the least noise ; 
and when the first rays of the sun penetrated into his chamber, the dawn 
itself appeared to him to have taken a funeral tint 

All at once he heard his bolts drawn, and sprang up with a terrified 
bound, believing that they were come to fetch him to the scaffold ; so 
that when he saw purely and simply that it was only his commissary of 
the preceding evening, attended by his officer, he was ready to embrace 
them both. 

" Your affair has become more complicated since yesterday evening, 
my good man, and I advise you to tell the whole truth ; for your repent j 
ance alone can remove the anger of the cardinal." 

" Why, I am ready to tell everything/' cried Bonacieux, " at least, al! 
that I know. Interrogate me, I entreat you !" 

" Where is your wife, in the first place ?" 

" Why, did not I tell you she had been stolen away from me ?" 

li Yes, but yesterday, at five o'clock in the afternoon, thanks to you, 
she escaped." 

"My wife escaped !" cried Bonacieux. " Oh ! unfortunate creature ! 
Monsieur, if she has escaped, it is no fault of mine, I will swear." 

" What business had you then to go into the chamber of M. d'Artag- 
nan, your neighbour, with whom you had a long conference, in the course 
of the day ?" 

" Ah 1 yes, Monsieur lc Commissaire ; yes, that is true, and I confess 
that I was in the wrong. I did go to M. d'Artagnan's apartment." 

" What was the object of that visit ?" 

" To beg him to assist me in finding my wife. I believed I had a 
right to endeavour to recover her ; I was deceived, as it appears, and I 
ask your pardon for so doing." 

" And what did M. D'Artagnan reply ?" 

" M. D'Artagnan promised me his assistance ; but I soon found out 
that he was betraying me." 

" You are imposing upon justice ! M. d'Artagnan made an agreement 
with you, and in virtue of that agreement put to flight the men of the 
police who had arrested your wife, and has placed her out of reach of 
all inquiries." 

" M . d'Artagnan has carried off my wife ! What can that mean ?" 


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" Fortunately M. d'Artagnan is in our hands, and you shall be con- 
fronted with him." 

u Ah ! ma foi ! I ask no better," cried Bonacieux ; " I shall not be 
sorry to see the face of an acquaintance." 

" Bring in M. d'Artagnan," said the commissary to the guards. 

The two guards led in Athos. 

"Monsieur d'Artagnan," said the commissary, addressing Athos, " de- 
clare all that passed yesterday between you and monsieur here." 

" But !" cried Bonacieux, " this is not M. d'Artagnan that you have 
brought before me 1" 

" What ! not M. d'Artagnan !" exclaimed the commissary. 

" Not the least in the world like him," replied Bonacieux. 

"What is this gentleman's name?" asked the commissary. 

" I cannot tell you ; I don't know him." 

" How ! you don't know him ?" 

" No." 

" Did you never see him ?" 

" Yes, I have seen him, but I don't know what his name is." 

" Your name f" asked the commissary. 

w Athos," replied the musketeer. 

" But that is not a man's name, that is the name of a mountain," cried 
the poor commissary, who began to feel a little bewildered. 

u That is my name," said Athos, quietly. 

" But you said that your name was D'Artagnan." 

"Who, I?" 

" Yes, you." 

u My guards said to me : * You are Monsieur d'Artagnan r* I an- 
swered, ' You think so, do you V My guards again exclaimed that they 
were sure I was. I did not think it worth while to contradict them. 
Besides, I might myself be deceived." 

" Monsieur, you insult the majesty of justice." 

" Not at all," said Athos, calmly. 

" You are Monsieur d'Artagnan." 

" You see, monsieur, that you persist in saying that I am." 

" But, I tell you, Monsieur le Commissaire," cried Bonacieux, in his 
turn, " there is not the least doubt about the matter. M. d'Artagnan is 
my tenant, although he does not pay me my rent, and even better on 
that account ought I to know him. M. d'Artagnan is a young man, 
scarcely nineteen, and this gentleman must be thirty at least M. 
d'Artagnan is in M. des Essart's guards, and monsieur is in the company 
of M. de TreVille's musketeers ; look at his uniform, Monsieur le Com- 
missaire, look at his uniform !" 

" That's true," murmured the commissary ; " pardieu ! that's true." 

At this moment the door was opened quickly, and a messenger, intro- 
duced by one of the gate-keepers of the Bastille, gave a letter to the 

" Oh ! unhappy woman !" cried the commissary. 

" How ! what do you say ? of whom do you speak ? It is not of my 
wife, I hope I" 


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" On the contrary, it is of her. Your affair is becoming a pretty one." 

" But," said the agitated mercer, " do me the pleasure, monsieur, to 
tell me how my own proper affair can become the worse by anything 
my wife does whilst I am in prison ?" 

" Because that which she does is part of a plan concerted between 
you, of an infernal plan !" 

" I swear to you, Monsieur le Commissaire, that you are in the pro- 
foundest error, that I know nothing in the world about what my wife 
had to do ; that I am entirely a stranger to what she has done, and that 
if she has committed any follies, I renounce her, I abjure her, I curse 
her !" 

" Bah !" said Athos to the commissary, " if you have no more need 
of me, send me somewhere ; your Monsieur Bonacieux is very unplea- 

" Reconduct the prisoners to their dungeons," said the commissary, 
designating, by the same gesture, Athos and Bonacieux, " and let them 
be guarded more closely than ever." 

" And yet," said Athos, with his habitual calmness, u if it be M. 
d'Artagnan who is concerned in this matter, I do not perceive too clearly 
how I can take his place." 

" Do as I bade you," cried the commissary, " and preserve the pro- 
foundest secrecy ! You understand me !" 

Athos shrugged his shoulders, and followed his guards silently, whilst 
Monsieur Bonacieux uttered lamentations enough to break the heart of 
a tiger. 

They led back the mercer to the same dungeon in which he had passed 
the night, and left him to himself during the day. Bonacieux wept away 
the hours like a true mercer, not being at all a man of the sword, as he 
himself informed us. In the evening, at the moment he had made his 
mind up to lie down upon the bed, he heard steps in his corridor. 
These steps drew near to his dungeon, the door was thrown open, and 
the guards appeared. 

" Follow me," said an exempt, who came behind the guards. 

" Follow you !" cried Bonacieux, " follow you, at this hour ! Where, 
in the name of God ?" 

41 Where we have orders to lead you." 

" But that is not an answer, that." 

"It is, nevertheless, the only one we can give you." 

" Ah ! my God ! my God !" murmured the poor mercer, " now, in- 
deed, I am lost !" And he followed the guards who came for him 
mechanically and without resistance. 

He passed along the same corridor as before, crossed a first court, 
then a second side of the building ; at length at the gate of the entrance- 
court he found a carriage surrounded by four guards on horseback. 
They made him get into this carriage, the exempt placed himself by his 
side, the door was locked, and they were left in a rolling prison. The 
carriage was put in motion as slowly as a funeral car. Through the 
closely fastened windows the prisoner could perceive the houses and the 


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pavement, that was all ; but, true Parisian as he was, Bonacieux could 
recognise every street by the rails, the signs, and the lamps. At the 
moment of arriving at Saint Paul, the spot where such as were con- 
demned at the Bastille were executed, he was near fainting and crossed 
himself twice. He thought the carriage was about to stop there. The 
carriage, however, passed on. 

Further on, a still greater terror seized him on passing by the ceme- 
tery of Saint Jean, where state criminals were buried. One thing, 
however, reassured him : he remembered that before they were buried 
their heads were generally cut off, and he felt that his head was still on 
his shoulders. But when he saw the carriage take the way to La GreVe, 
when he perceived the pointed roof of the Hotel de Ville, and the car- 
riage passed under the arcade, he then thought all was over with him, 
wished to confess to the exempt, and upon his refusal, uttered such 
pitiable cries, that the exempt told him that if he continued to deafen 
him in that manner, he should put a gag in his mouth. 

This measure somewhat reassured Bonacieux ; if they meant to 
execute him at La GreVe, it could scarcely be worth while to gag him, 
as they had nearly reached the place of execution. In fact, the carriage 
crossed the fatal spot without stopping. There remained then no other 
place to fear but the Croix-du-Trahoir ; the carriage was taking exactly 
the road to it 

This time there was no longer any doubt : it was at the Croix-du- 
Trahoir that obscure criminals were executed. Bonacieux had flattered 
himself in believing himself worthy of Saint Paul or of the Place de 
Greve : it was at the Croix-du-Trahoir that his journey and his destiny 
were about to be ended ! He could not yet see that dreadful cross, but 
he felt as if it were in some sort coming to meet him. When he was 
within twenty paces of it, he heard a noise of people, and the carriage 
stopped. This was more than poor Bonacieux could endure, depressed 
as he was by the successive emotions which he had experienced : he 
uttered a feeble groan, which might have been taken for the last sigh of 
a dying man, and fainted. 


The crowd was not produced by the expectation of a man who was to 
be hung, but by the contemplation of a man who was hung. 

The carriage, which had been stopped for a minute, resumed its way 
passed through the crowd, threaded the Rue Saint Honore\ turned the 
Rue des Bons Enfans, and stopped before a low door. 

The door opened, two guards received Bonacieux in their arms from 
the exempt, who supported him ; they carried him along an alley, up a 
flight of stairs, and deposited him in an antechamber. 

All these movements had been effected, as far as he was concerned in 
them, mechanically. He had moved along as if in a dream ; he had a 


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glimpse of objects as if through a fog ; his ears had perceived sounds 
without comprehending them ; he might have been executed at that 
moment without his making a single gesture in his own defence, or his 
uttering a cry to implore mercy. 

He remained upon the bench, with his back leaning against the wall 
and his hands hanging down, exactly in the spot where the guards had 
placed him. 

On looking round him, however, as he could perceive no threatening 
object, as nothing indicated that he ran any real danger, as the bench 
was comfortably covered with a well-stuffed cushion, as the wall was 
ornamented with beautiful Cordova leather, and as large red damask 
curtains, fastened back by gold clasps, floated before the window, he 
perceived by degrees that his fear was exaggerated, and he began to 
turn his head to the right and the left, upwards and downwards. 

At this movement, which nobody opposed, he resumed a little courage, 
and ventured to draw up one leg and then the other ; at length, 
with the help of his two hands, he raised himself up upon the bench, 
and found himself upon his feet 

At this moment an officer of a sufficiently good appearance opened a 
door, continued to exchange some words with a person in the next 
chamber, and then came up to the prisoner : 

" Is your name Bonacieux !" said he. 

" Yes, Monsieur POfficier," stammered the mercer, more dead than 
alive, " at your service." 

" Come in," said the officer. 

And he moved out of the way to let the mercer pass. The latter 
obeyed without reply, and entered the chamber, where he appeared to 
be expected. 

It was a large cabinet, with the walls furnished with arms offensive 
and defensive, close and stifling ; and in which there was already a fire, 
although it was scarcely the end of September. A square table, covered 
with books and papers, upon which was unrolled an immense plan of 
the city of La Rochelle, occupied the centre of the apartment 

Standing before the chimney, was a man of middle height, of ahaughty, 
proud mien ; with piercing eyes, a large brow, and a thin face, which was 
made still longer by a royal (or imperial, as it is now called), surmounted 
by a pair of moustaches. Although this man was scarcely thirty-six or 
thirty-seven years of age, hair, moustaches, and royal, all began to be 
grey. This man, except a sword, had all the appearance of a soldier ; 
and his buff boots, still slightly covered with dust, indicated that he had 
been on horseback in the course of the day. 

This man was Armand Jean Duplessis, Cardinal de Richelieu, not 
such as he is now represented — broken down like an old man, suffering 
like a martyr, his body bent, his voice extinct — buried in a largefauteui/, 
as in an anticipated tomb ; no longer living but by the strength of his 
genius, and no longer maintaining the struggle with Europe but by the 
eternal application of his thoughts — but such as he really was at this 
period ; that is to say, an active and gallant cavalier, already weak of 


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body, but sustained by that moral power which made of him one of the 
most extraordinary men that ever existed ; preparing, after having sup- 
ported the Duke de Nevers in his duchy of Mantua, after having taken 
Nimes, Castres, and Uzes— to drive the English from the isle of Re*, and 
lay siege to La Rochelle. 

At first sight, nothing denoted the cardinal ; and it was impossible 
for those who did not know his face to guess in whose presence they 

The poor mercer remained standing at the door, whilst the eyes of 
the personage we have just described were fixed upon him, and appeared 
to wish to penetrate even into the depths of the past. 

" Is this that Bonacieux ?" asked he, after a moment of silence. 

" Yes, monseigneur," replied the officer. 

u That's well. Give me those papers, and leave us." 

The officer took the papers pointed out from the table, gave thenl 
to him who asked for them, bowed to the ground, and retired. 

Bonacieux recognised, in these papers, his interrogatories of the Bas- 
tille. From time to time, the man of the chimney raised his eyes 
from the writings, and plunged them like poniards into the heart of the 
poor mercer. 

At the end of ten minutes' reading, and ten seconds of examination, 
the cardinal was satisfied. 

" That head has never conspired," murmured he ; " but it matters 
not ; we will see, nevertheless." 

" You are accused of high treason," said the cardinal, slowly. 

11 So I have been told already, monseigneur," cried Bonacieux, giving 
his interrogator the title he had heard the officer give him, " but I swear 
to you that I know nothing about it." 

The cardinal repressed a smile. 

" You have conspired with your wife, with Madame de Chevreuse, 
and with milord duke of Buckingham." 

"In fact, monseigneur, I have heard her pronounce all those 

" And on what occasion ?" 

" She said that the Cardinal de Richelieu had drawn the Duke of 
Buckingham to Paris to ruin him and to ruin the queen." 

" She said that ?" cried the cardinal, with violence. 

" Yes, monseigneur, but I told her she was wrong to talk about such 
things ; and that his eminence was incapable " 

" Hold your tongue ! you are stupid," replied the cardinal. 

" That's exactly what my wife said, monseigneur." 

" Do you know who carried off your wife ?" 

" No, monseigneur." 

" You have suspicions, nevertheless ?" 

" Yes, monseigneur ; but these suspicions appeared to be disagreeable 
$0 monsieur the commissary, and I no longer have them." 

" Your wife has escaped ! Did you know that ?" 

" No, monseigneur ; I learnt it since I have been in prison, and 


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that from the conversation of monsieur the commissary— a very good 
kind of man." 

The cardinal repressed another smile. 

" Then you are ignorant of what is become of your wife since her 

" Absolutely, monseigneur ; but she has most likely returned to the 

" At one o'clock this morning she had not returned." 

" Good God ! what can have become of her then f* 

" We shall know, be assured ; nothing is concealed from the cardinal ; 
the cardinal knows everything." 

" In that case, monseigneur, do you believe the cardinal will be so 
kind as to tell me what has become of my wife ?" 

" Perhaps he may ; but you must, in the first place, reveal to the car- 
dinal all you know of your wife's relations with Madame de Chevreusc." 

" But, monseigneur, I know nothing about them ; I have never seen 
her !" 

u When you went to fetch your wife from the Louvre, did you always 
return directly home ?" 

" Scarcely ever ; she had business to transact with linendrapers, to 
whose houses I conducted her." 

" And how many were there of these linendrapers ?" 

" Two, monseigneur." 

"And where did they live?" 

" One Rue de Vaugirard, the other Rue de la Harpe." 

" Do you go into these houses with her ?" 

" Never, monseigneur ; I waited at the door." 

u And what excuse did she make for going in in this manner alone?" 

" She gave me none ; she told me to wait, and I waited." 

" You are a very complacent husband, my dear Monsieur Bonacieux," 
said the cardinal. 

" He calls me his dear monsieur," said the mercer to himself. " Pestc ! 
matters are going all right !" 

" Should you know those doors again ?" 

" Yes." 

"Do you know the numbers ?" 

" Yes." 

" What are they ?" 

"No. 25 in the Rue Vaugirard ; 75 in the Rue de la Harpe." 

" That's well," said the cardinal. 

At these words, he took up a silver bell, and rang it : the officer 

" Go," said he, in a subdued voice, " and find Rochefort ; tell him to 
come to me immediately, if he is returned." 

" The count is here/' said the officer, " and requests to speak with 
your eminence instantly." 

" Let him come in, then ; let him come in, then !" said the cardinal, 


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The officer sprang out of the apartment with that alacrity which all 
the servants of the cardinal displayed in obeying him. 

" To your eminence !" murmured Bonacieux, rolling his eyes round 
in astonishment. 

Five seconds had scarcely elapsed after the disappearance of the 
officer, when the door opened, and a new personage entered. 

" It is he !" cried Bonacieux. 

" He ! what he?" asked the cardinal. 

u The man that took away my wife !" 

The cardinal rang a second time. The officer reappeared. 

" Place this man in the care of h.s guards again, and let him wait 
till I send for him." 

" No, monseigneur ! no ! it is not ne !" cried Bonacieux ; " no, I was 
deceived : this is quite a different man, and does not resemble him at 
all. Monsieur is, I am sure, a very good sort of man !" 

" Take away that fool !" said the cardinal. 

The officer took Bonacieux by the arm, and led him into the ante- 
chamber, where he found his two guards. 

The newly-introduced personage followed Bonacieux impatiently 
with his eyes till he was gone out, and the moment the door closed, he 
advanced eagerly towards the cardinal, and said : 

" They have seen each other !" 

" Who ?' asked his eminence. 

" He and she !" 

" The queen and the duke ?" cried Richelieu. 

" Yes." 


"At the Louvre." 

" Are you sure of it ?" 

" Perfectly sure." 

"Who told you of it?" 

" Madame Lannoy, who is devoted to your eminence, as you know." 

" Why did she not let me know sooner ?" 

" Whether by chance or from mistrust, I don't know ; but the queen 
made Madame de Surgis sleep in her chamber, and detained her all 

" Well, we are beaten ! Now let us try to take our revenge." 

" I will assist you with all my heart, monseigneur ; be assured of that." 

" How did it take place ?" 

" At half-past twelve, the queen was with her women " 

" Where ?" 

" In her bedchamber " 

u Go on." 

" When some one came and brought her a handkerchief from her 
dame de lingerie? 

" And then !" 

" The queen immediately exhibited strong emotion ; and notwith- 
standing that her face was covered with rouge, evidentlv turned 
pale " 


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"Well, go on!" 

"She, however, rose, and with a trembling voice : ' Ladies,' said she; 
wait for me ten minutes, I shall soon return/ She then opened the 
door of her alcove, and went out." 

" Why did not Madame Lannoy come and inform you instantly ?" 

" Nothing was certain ; besides, her majesty had said : ' Ladies, wait 
for me ;' and she did not dare to disobey the queen." 

" How long did the queen remain out of the chamber ?" 

" Three-quarters of an hour." 

" Did none of her women accompany her ?" 

u Only Donna Estefana." 

" Did she afterwards return ?" 

" Yes ; but to take a little rosewood casket, with her cipher upon it ; 
and went out again immediately." 

"And when she finally returned, did she bring that casket with 

" No." 

" Does Madame Lannoy know what was in that casket ?" 

" Yes ; the diamond studs which his majesty gave the queen." 

" And she came back without this casket ?" 


" Madame Lannoy, then* is of opinion that she gave them to Buck- 
ingham ?" 

" She is sure of it." 

" How can she be so ?" 

"In the course of the day, Madame de Lannoy, in her quality of tire- 
woman of the queen, looked for this casket, appeared uneasy at not 
finding it, and at length asked the queen if she knew anything about it." 

"And the queen?" 

" The queen became exceedingly red, and replied, that having on the 
preceding evening broken one of those studs, she had sent it to her gold- 
smith to be repaired." 

" He must be called upon, and so ascertain if the thing be true or 

" I have just been with him." 

" And the goldsmith says ? n 

" The goldsmith has heard of nothing of the kind." 

" Right ! right ! Rochefort, all is not lost; and perhaps— perhaps— 
everything is for the best !" 

"The fact is, that I do not doubt your eminence's genius " 

" Will repair the blunders of his agent — is that it Y* 

" That is exactly what I was going to say, if your eminence had per- 
mitted me to fisinh my sentence." 

"Do you know where the duchesse de Chevreuse and the duke of 
Buckingham are now concealed ?" 

" No, monseigneur ; my people could tell me nothing on that head." 

"But I know." 

" You, monseigneur ?" 


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" Yes ; or at least I guess. They were, one in the Rue Vaugirard, 
No. 25 ; the other in the Rue de la Harpe, No. 75." 

" Does your eminence command that they should be both instantly 
arrested ?" 

" It will be too late ; they will be gone." 

" But still, we can make sure that they are so." 

" Take ten men of my guards, and search the house thoroughly." 

" Instantly, monseigneur.-" 

And Rochefort went hastily out of the apartment. 

The cardinal, upon being left alone, reflected for an instant, and then 
rang the bell a third time. The same officer appeared. 

" Bring the prisoner in again," said the cardinal. 

Master Bonacieux was introduced afresh, and upon a sign from the 
cardinal the officer retired. 

" You have deceived me !" said the cardinal, sternly. 

" I !" cried Bonacieux ; " I ! deceive your eminence !" 

" Your wife, when going to Rue de Vaugirard and Rue de la Harpe, 
did not go to meet linendrapers." 

44 Then whom did she go to meet, in the name of God ?" 

"She went to meet the Duchesse de Chevreuse and the Duke of 

" Yes," cried Bonacieux, recalling all his remembrances of the circum- 
stances, " yes, that's it. Your eminence is right I told my wife, several 
times, that it was surprising that linendrapers should live in such 
houses as those— in houses that had no signs — but she only always 
laughed at me. 

" Ah ! monseigneur !" continued Bonacieux, throwing himself at his 
eminence's feet, " ah ! how truly you are the cardinal, the great car- 
dinal, the man of genius whom all the world reveres." 

The cardinal, however contemptible might be the triumph gained 
over so vulgar a being as Bonacieux, did not the less enjoy it for an 
instant ; then, almost immediately, as if a fresh thought had occurred, 
to the mercer, 

" Rise, my good friend," said he ; " you are a worthy man." 

" The cardinal has touched me with his hand ! I have touched the 
hand of the great man !" cried Bonacieux : " the great man has called 
me his friend !" 

" Yes, my friend ; yes !" said the cardinal, with that paternal tone 
which he sometimes knew how to assume, but which deceived none 
who knew him ; " and as you have been unjustly suspected, well ! you 
must be indemnified : here ! take this purse of a hundred pistoles, and 
pardon me." 

" I pardon you, monseigneur !" said Bonacieux, hesitating to take 
the purse, fearing, doubtless, that this pretended gift was but a joke. 
u But you are free to have me arrested, you are tree to have me tor- 
tured, you are free to have me hung : you are the master, and I could 
not have the least word to say against it Pardon you, monseigneur ! 
you cannot mean that !" 



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" Ah ! my dear Monsieur Bonacieux, you are generous in this matter, 
and I thank you for it. Thus, then, you will take this bag, and you will 
go away without being too much dissatisfied with your treatment." 

" I shall go away enchanted." 

" Farewell, then ; that is to say, for the present, for I hope we shall 
meet again." 

" Whenever monseigneur wishes : I am always at his eminence's 

" And that will be frequently, I assure you, for I have found some- 
thing extremely agreeable in your conversation." 

" Oh ! monseigneur !" 

" Au revoir, Monsieur Bonacieux, au revoir !" 

And the cardinal made him a sign with his hand, to which Bonacieux 
replied by bowing to the ground ; he then went out backwards, and 
when he was in the antechamber, the cardinal heard him, in his enthu- 
siasm, crying aloud, " Vive monseigneur ! Vive son eminence ! Vive 
le grand cardinal !" The cardinal listened with a smile to this voci- 
ferous manifestation of the feelings of Bonacieux ; and then, when 
Bonacieux's cries were no longer audible, — 

" Good !" said he, " that man would, henceforward, lay down his life 
for me." 

And the cardinal began to examine with the greatest attention the 
map of La Rochelle, which, as we have said, lay open upon the table, 
tracing with a pencil the line in which the famous dyke was to pass, 
which, eighteen months later, shut up the port of the besieged city. As 
he was in the deepest of his strategic meditations, the door opened, and 
Rochefort returned. 

" Well !" said the cardinal eagerly, rising with a promptitude which 
proved the degree of importance he attached to the commission with 
which he had charged the count 

"WellP said the latter, "a young woman of about twenty-six or 
twenty-eight years of age, and a man of from thirty-five to forty, have 
lodged at the two houses pointed out by your eminence, but the woman 
left last night, and the man this morning. ,, 

" They were the persons !" cried the cardinal, looking at the clock ; 
" and now it is too late to have them pursued : the duchess is at Tours, 
and the duke at Boulogne. It is at London they must be met with." 

" What are your eminence's orders ?" 

"Not a word of what has passed ; let the queen remain in perfect 
security ; let her be ignorant that we know her secret ; let her believe 
that we are in search of some conspiracy or other. Send me the keeper 
of the seals, Monsieur Seguier." 

" And that man, what has your eminence done with him r" 

u What man r" asked the cardinal 

" That Bonacieux." 

" I have done with him all that could be done : I have made him a 
spy upon his wife." 

The count de Rochefort bowed like a man who acknowledges as 
great the superiority of the master, and retired. 


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" Tell Vitray to come to me," said he, " and tell him to get ready for 
a journey." 

The instant after, the man he required was before him, booted and 

" Vitray," said he, "you will go, with all speed, to London. You must 
not stop an instant on the way. You will deliver this letter to Milady. 
Here is an order for two hundred pistoles ; call upon my treasurer and 
get the money. You shall have as much again if you are back within 
six days, and have executed your commission well." 

The messenger, without replying a single word, bowed, took the 
letter, with the order for the two hundred pistoles, and retired. 

These were the contents of the letter : 

* Milady,— 

" Be at the first ball at which the duke of Buckingham shall be 
present He will wear on his doublet twelve diamond studs ; get as near 
to him as you can, and cut off two of them. 

" As soon as these studs shall be in your possession, inform me." 


On the day after these events had taken place, Athos not having re- 
appeared, M. de Treville was informed by D'Artagnan and Porthos of 
the circumstance. As to Aramis, he had asked for leave of absence for 
five days, and was gone, it was said, to Rouen, on family business. 

M. de Tre*ville was the father of his soldiers. The lowest or the 
most unknown of them, as soon as he assumed the uniform of the 
company, was as sure of his aid and support as his brother himself 
could have been. 

He repaired, then, instantly to the residence of the lieutenant-criminel. 
The officer who commanded the post of the Croix-Rouge was sent for, 
and by successive inquiries they found that Athos was at the time 
lodged in the For PEveque. 

Athos had passed through all the examinations we have seen Bona- 
cieux undergo. 

We were present at the scene in which the two captives were con- 
fronted with each other. Athos, who had till that time said nothing, 
for fear that D'Artagnan, interrupted in his turn, should not have the 
time necessary : but from this moment Athos declared that his name 
was Athos, and not D'Artagnan. He added that he did not know 
either Monsieur or Madame Bonacieux ; that he had never spoken to 
the one or the other ; that he had come, at about ten o'clock in the 
evening, to pay a visit to his friend, M. D'Artagnan, but that till that 
hour he had been at M. de Tre'ville's, where he had dined ; " twenty 
witnesses," added he, M could attest the fact," and he named several 
distinguished gentlemen, and among them was M. the duke de la 



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The second commissary was as much bewildered as the first had been 
at the simple but firm declaration of the musketeer, upon whom he was 
anxious to take the revenge which men of the robe like at all times to 
gain over men of the sword ; but the name of M. de Tr£v»lle, and tbat 
of M. de la Trdmouille, commanded a little reflection. 

Athos was then sent to the cardinal, but unfortunately the cardinal 
was at the Louvre with the king. 

It was precisely at this moment, at which M. de TreVille, on leaving 
the residence of the lieutenant-criminel> and that of the governor of 
the For PEv£que, without being able to find Athos, arrived at the 

As captain of the musketeers, M. de TreVille had the right of enMe 
at all times. 

It is well known how violent the king's prejudices were against the 
queen, and how carefully these prejudices were kept up by the cardinal, 
who, in affairs of intrigue, mistrusted women much more than men. 
One of the principal causes of this prejudice was the friendship of Anne 
of Austria for Madame de Chevreuse. These two women gave him more 
uneasiness than the war with Spain, the quarrel with England, or the 
embarrassment of the finances. In his eyes, and to his perfect convic- 
tion, Madame de Chevreuse not only served the queen in her political 
intrigues, but, which troubled him still more, in her love affairs. 

At the first word the cardinal spoke of Madame de Chevreuse, who, 
though exiled to Tours, and who was believed to be in that city, had been 
at Paris, remained there five days, and had outwitted the police, the 
king flew into a furious passion. Although capricious and unfaithful, 
the king wished to be called Louis the Just and Louis the Chaste. 
Posterity will find a difficulty in understanding this character, which 
history explains only by facts and never by reasonings. 

But when the Cardinal added, that not only Madame de Chevreusa 
had been in Paris, but, still further, that the queen had renewed with 
her, by the means of one of those mysterious correspondences which at 
that time was named a cabal, when he affirmed that he, the cardinal, 
was about to unravel the most closely twisted thread of this intrigue, 
when at the moment of arresting in the fact, with all the proofs about 
her, the queen's emissary to the exiled duchess, a musketeer, had dared 
to interrupt the course of justice violently, by falling, sword in hand, 
upon the nonest men of the law charged with investigating impartially 
the whole affair, in order to place it before the eyes of the king. Louis 
XIII. could not contain himself, and he made a step towards the 
queen's apartment, with that pale and mute indignation, which, 
when it broke out, led this prince to the commission of the coldest 

And yet, in all this, the cardinal had not yet said a word about the 
duke of Buckingham. 

At this instant M. de Tre'ville entered, cold, polite, and in irreproach- 
able costume. 

Rendered aware of what had passed by the presence of the cardinal, 


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and the alteration in the king's countenance, M. de Tre'ville felt him- 
self something like Samson before the Philistines. 

Louis XIII. had already placed his hand on the button of the door ; 
at the noise of M. de Tre*ville's entrance he turned round. 

" You arrive in good time, monsieur," said the king, who, when his 
passions were raised to a certain point, could not dissemble ; " I have 
learned some pretty things concerning your musketeers !" 

" And I," said M. de Tre'ville, coldly, " I have some pretty things to 
inform your majesty of, concerning these men of the robe." 

" What do you say ?" said the king, with hauteur. 

" I have the honour to inform your majesty," continued M. de Tre*- 
ville, in the same tone, ** that a party of procureurs, commissaries, and 
men of the police, very estimable people, but very inveterate, as it 
appears, against the uniform, have taken upon themselves to arrest in 
a house, to lead away through the open street, and throw into the Fort 
l'Eveque, all upon an order which they have refused to show me, one 
of my, or rather your musketeers, sire., of irreproachable conduct, of an 
almost illustrious reputation, and whom your majesty knows favourably, 
M. Athos." 

" Athos !" said the king, mechanically ; 41 yes, indeed, I know that 

" Let your majesty remember," said M. de Tre'ville, " that M. Athos 
is the musketeer who, in the annoying duel which you are acquainted 
with, had the misfortune to wound M. de Cahusac so seriously. Apro- 
pos, monseigneur," continued De Tre'ville, addressing the cardinal, " M. 
de Cahusac is quite recovered, is he not ?" 

" Thank you r* said the cardinal, biting his lips with anger. 

•' M. Athos, then, went to pay a visit to one of his friends, at the time 
absent," continued M. de TreVille, " to a young Bearnais, a cadet in his 
majesty's guards, the company of M. des Essarts, but scarcely had he 
arrived at his friend's, and taken up a book, whilst waiting his return, 
when a crowd of bailiffs and soldiers mixed, came and laid siege to the 
house, broke open several doors " 

The cardinal made the king a sign, which signified, " That was on 
account of the affair about which I spoke to you." 

" Oh ! we all know that," interrupted the king ; "for all that was done 
for our service." 

" Then," said Tre'ville, " it was also for your majesty's service, that one 
of my musketeers, who was innocent, has been seized ; that he has been 
placed between two guards, like a malefactor ; and that this gallant 
man, who has ten times shed his blood in your majesty's service, and 
is ready to shed it again, has been paraded through the midst of an 
insolent populace !" 

" Bah !" said the king, who began to be shaken, u was it managed 

"M. de Tre'ville," said the cardinal, with the greatest phlegm, "does 
not tell your majesty that this innocent musketeer, this gallant man, 
had only an hour before attacked, sword in hand, four commissaries of 


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inquiry, who were delegated by me to examine into an affair of the 
highest importance." 

" I defy your eminence to prove it," cried M. de TreViile, with his 
Gascon freedom and military roughness ; "for one hour before, M. Athos, 
who, I will confide it to your majesty, is really a man of the highest 
quality, did me the honour, after having dined with me, to be conversing 
in the salon of my hotel, with M. the duke de la Tre*mouille and M. le 
comte de Chalus, who happened to be there." 

The king looked at the cardinal. 

" A proces-verbal attests it," said the cardinal, replying aloud to the 
mute interrogation of his majesty ; "and the ill-treated people have 
drawn up the following, which I have the honour to present to your 

" And is the prods-verbal of men of the robe to be placed in com- 
parison with the word of honour of a man of the sword ?" replied Trd- 
ville, haughtily. 

" Come, come, TreViile, hold your tongue," said the king. 

" If his eminence entertains any suspicion against one of my muske- 
teers," said TreViile, " the justice of M. the Cardinal is sufficiently well 
known to induce me, myself, to demand an inquiry." 

" In the house in which this judicial inquiry was made," continued 
the impassable cardinal, "there lodges, I believe, a young Be*arnais, 
a friend of the musketeer's." 

" Your eminence means M. D'Artagnan." 

" I mean a young man whom you patronize, Monsieur de TreViile." 

M Yes, your eminence, it is the same." 

" Do you not suspect this young man of having given bad advice — " 

" To M. Athos ! to a man double his age ?" interrupted M. de Tre- 
ville. " No, Monseigneur. Besides, M. D'Artagnan passed the evening 
at my hotel." 

" Well," said the cardinal, " everybody seems to have passed the even- 
ing at your hotel !" 

" Does your eminence doubt my word ?' said De TreViile, with a brow 
flushed with anger. 

" No, God forbid !" said the cardinal ; " but only let me inquire at 
what hour he was with you ?" 

" Oh, that I can speak to positively, your eminence ; for as he came 
in I remarked that it was but half-past nine by the clock, although I had 
believed it to be later." 

" And at what hour did he leave your hotel ?" 

" At half-past ten ; an hour after the event." 

" Well, but," replied the cardinal, who could not for an instant suspect 
the loyalty of De TreViile, and who felt that the victory was escaping 
from his hands,—" well, but Athos was taken in the house of the Rue 
des Fossoyeurs." 

" Is one friend forbidden to visit another ? or a musketeer of my com" 
pany to fraternize with a guard of M. des Essart's company ?" 

" Yes, when the house in which he fraternizes is suspected." 


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"That house is suspected, Tre'ville," said the king ; "perhaps you 
were not aware of that?" 

" Indeed, sire, I knew nothing of the circumstance. The house may 
be suspected, but I deny that it is so in the part of it inhabited by M. 
D'Artagnan ; for I can affirm, sire, if I can believe what he says, that 
there does not exist a more devoted servant of your majesty, or a more 
profound admirer of Monsieur the Cardinal." 

M Was it not this D'Artagnan who wounded, one day, Jussac, in that 
unfortunate encounter which took place near the convent of the Carmes 
Dechausse's ?" asked the king, looking at the cardinal, who coloured 
with vexation. 

" And the next day Bernajoux. Yes, sire, yes, it is the same. Your 
majesty has an excellent memory." 

u Come, how shall we determine ?' said the king. 

" That concerns your majesty more than me," said the cardinal. " I 
should affirm the culpability." 

"And I deny it," said De Tre'ville. " But his majesty has judges, and 
these judges will decide." 

" That is best," said the king. " Send the case before the judges ; it 
is their business to judge, and they will judge." 

" Only," replied Tre'ville, " it is a sad thing that, in the unfortunate 
times in which we live, the purest life, the most incontestable virtue, 
cannot exempt a man from infamy and persecution. The army, I will 
answer for it, will be but little pleased at being exposed to rigorous 
treatment on account of affairs of police." 

The expression was imprudent ; but M. de Tre'ville launched it with 
a full knowledge of his cause. He was desirous of an explosion, because 
in that case the mine throws forth fire, and fire enlightens. 

" Affairs of police !" cried the king, taking up De TreVille's words ; 
" affairs of police ! And what do you know about them, monsieur ? 
Meddle with your musketeers, and do not annoy me in this way. It 
appears, according to your account, that if, unfortunately, a musketeer 
is arrested, France is in danger ! Here's a piece of work about a mus- 
keteer ! Why, I would arrest ten of them, vcntrtbleu / a hundred, even 
— all the company ! and I would not allow a murmur !" 

" From the moment they are suspected by your majesty," said Tre'- 
ville, " the musketeers are guilty ; therefore, you see me prepared to 
surrender my sword ; for, after having accused my soldiers, there can 
be no doubt that M. the Cardinal will end by accusing me. It is 
best to constitute myself at once a prisoner with M Athos, who is 
already arrested, and with M. D'Artagnan, who most probably will be 

" Gascon-headed man ! will you have done ?" said the king. 

"Sire," replied Tre'ville, without lowering his voice in the least, 
" either order my musketeer to be restored to me, or let him be tried." 

"He shall be tried," said the cardinal. 

" Well, so much the better ; for in that case I shall demand of his 
maiesty permission to plead for him." 


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The king became afraid of an outbreak. 

u If his eminence," said he, " had not personal motives " 

The cardinal saw what the king was about to say, and interrupted 

" Pardon me," said he ; " but the instant your majesty considers me 
a prejudiced judge, I withdraw." 

" Come," said the king, " will you swear by my father that M. Athos 
was at your residence during the event, and that he took no part 
in it 1» 

" By your glorious father, and by yourself, — who are that which I love 
and venerate the most in the world, — I swear it !" 

" Be so kind as to reflect, sire," said the cardinal. " If we release the 
prisoner thus, we shall never be able to know the truth." 

" M. Athos will always be to be found,*' replied TreVille, — "always 
ready to answer, when it shall please the men of the long robe to inter- 
rogate him. He will not desert, Monsieur le Cardinal, be assured of 
that : I will answer for him." 

" No, he will not desert," said the king ; " he can always be found, 
as M. de TreVille says. Besides," added he, lowering his voice, and 
looking with a suppliant air at the cardinal, "let us give them apparent 
security : there is policy in that." 

This policy of Louis XIII.'s made Richelie\i smile. 

" Order it as you please, sire ; you possess the right of pardoning." 

" The right of pardoning only applies to the guilty/' said TreVille, 
who was determined to have the last word, " and my musketeer is inno- 
cent. It is not mercy, then, that you are about to accord, sire ; it is 

"And he is in the For l'Evcque ?" said the king. 

" Yes, sire, in solitary confinement, in a dungeon, like the lowest 

" The devil ! the devil !" murmured the king ; — " what must be 

" Sign the order for his release, and all will be said," replied the car- 
dinal. " I believe, with your majesty, that M. de TreVille's guarantee 
is more than sufficient." 

TreVille bowed very respectfully, with a joy that was not unmixed 
with fear ; he would have preferred an obstinate resistance on the part 
of the cardinal, to this sudden yielding. 

The king signed the order for enlargement, and TreVille carried it 
away without delay. 

At the moment he was about to leave the presence, the cardinal gave 
him a friendly smile, and said : 

"A perfect harmony seems to prevail in your musketeers, sire, 
between the leader and the soldiers, which must be good for the service, 
and advantageous to all." 

" Now he will play me some dog's trick or other, and that imme- 
diately," said TreVille ; "there is no possibility of getting the last word 
with such a man. But let us be quick, — the king may change his mind 


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presently ; and, at all events, it is more difficult to replace a man in the 
For PEvSque, or the Bastille, who has got out, than to keep a prisoner 
there who is in." 

M. de Tre*ville made his entrance triumphantly into the For l'Eveque, 
whence he delivered the musketeer, whose peaceful indifference had 
not for a moment abandoned him. 

The first time he saw D'Artagnan, " You have come off well," said he 
to him; "there is your Jussac thrust paid for. There still remains 
that of Bernajoux, but you must not be too confident." 

As to the rest, M. de TreVille had good reason to mistrust the car- 
dinal, and to think that all was not over, for scarcely had the captain 
of the musketeers closed the door after him, than his eminence said to 
the king : 

" Now that we are at length by ourselves, we will, if your majesty 
pleases, converse seriously. Sire, Monsieur de Buckingham has been 
in Paris five days, and only left it this morning." 



It is impossible to form an idea of the impression these few words made 
upon Louis XIII. He grew pale and red alternately ; and the cardinal 
saw at once that he had recovered, by a single blow, all the ground he 
had lost. 

" M. de Buckingham in Paris !" cried he, " and what does he come 
to do there ?" 

" To conspire, no doubt, with your enemies the Huguenots and the 
Spaniards. ,, 

" No, pardieu ! no ! To conspire against my honour, with Madame 
de Chevreuse, Madame de Longueville, and the CondeV 

" Oh ! sire, what an idea ! The queen is too prudent, and, besides, 
loves your majesty too well." 

" Woman is weak, monsieur le cardinal," said the king ; " and as to 
loving me much, I have my own opinion respecting that love." 

" I not the less maintain," said the cardinal, " that the duke of Buck- 
ingham came to Paris for a project purely political." 

"And I am sure that he came for quite another purpose, monsieur 
le cardinal, but if the queen be guilty, let her tremble !" 

" Indeed," said the cardinal, " whatever repugnance I may have to 
directing my mind to such a treason, your majesty compels me to think 
of it. Madame de Lanney, whom, according to your majesty's com- 
mand, I have frequently interrogated, told me this morning, that the 
night before last her majesty sat up very late, that this morning she 
wept much, and that she was writing all day." 

" That's it !" cried the king ; " to him, no doubt. Cardinal, I must 
have the queen's papers." 


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" But how to take them, sire ? It seems to me that neither your 
majesty nor I can charge ourselves with such a mission.' , 

" How did they act with regard to La Mardchale d'Ancre ?" cried the 
king, in the highest state of irritation ; " her armoircs were thoroughly 
searched, and then she herself was searched." 

" The Mardchale d'Ancre was no more than the Mardchale d'Ancre, 
a Florentine adventurer, sire, and that was all ; whilst the august spouse 
of your majesty is Anne of Austria, queen of France, that is to say, one 
of the greatest princesses in the world ." 

" She is not the less guilty, monsieur le due ! The more she has 
forgotten the high position in which she was placed, the more degrading 
is her fall. It is long since, besides, that I have determined to put an 
end to all these petty intrigues of policy and love. She has also about 
her a certain Laporte.' , 

" Who, I believe, is the mainspring of all this, I confess," said the 

" You think then, as I do, that she deceives me ?" said the king. 

" I believe, and I repeat it to your majesty, that the queen conspires 
against the power of the king, but I have not said against his honour." 

"And I,- -I tell you against both ; I tell you the queen does not love 
me ; I tell you she loves another ; I tell you she loves that infamous 
Buckingham ! Why did you not cause him to be arrested whilst he 
was in Paris T 

" Arrest the duke ! arrest the prime minister of King Charles I. ! 
Think of it, sire ! What a scandal I And if then the suspicions of your 
majesty, which I still continue to doubt, should prove to have any foun- 
dation, what a terrible disclosure ! what a fearful scandal !" 

" But as he acted like a vagabond or a thief, he should have 
been " 

Louis XIII. stopped, terrified at what he was about to say, whilst 
Richelieu, stretching out his neck, waited uselessly for the word which 
had died on the lips of the king. 

" He should have been ?" 

" Nothing," said the king, " nothing. But all the time he was in 
Paris, you, of course, did not lose sight of him ?" 

" No, sire." 

" Where did he lodge P 

" Rue de la Harpe, No. 75." 

" Where is that r" 

" By the side of the Luxembourg." 

'* And you are certain that the queen and he did not see each other ?" 

" I believe the queen to have too high a sense of her duties, sire." 

" But they have corresponded ; it is to him that the queen has been 
writing all the day ; monsieur le due, I must have those letters !" 

" Sire, notwithstanding " 

" Monsieur le due, at whatever price it may be, I will have them." 

" I would, however, beg your majesty to observe " 

" Do you then also join in betraying me, monsieur le cardinal, by thus 


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always opposing my will ? Are you also in concert with Spain and 
England, with Madame de Chevreuse and the queen ?" 

u Sire," replied the cardinal, sighing, " I thought I was secure from 
such a suspicion.' 

" Monsieur le cardinal, you have heard me ; I will have those 

" There is but one means. " 

"What is that ?" 

" That would be to charge M. de Siguier, the keeper of the seals, with 
this mission. The matter enters completely into the duties of his post." 

" Let him be sent for instantly." 

" He is most likely at my hotel ; I requested him to call, and when I 
came to the Louvre, I left orders, if he came, to desire him to wait." 

u Let him be sent for instantly." 

" Your majesty's orders shall be executed ; but " 

"But what r" 

" But the queen will perhaps refuse to obey." 

" What, my orders ?' 

" Yes, if she is ignorant that these orders come from the king." 

" Well, that she may have no doubt on that head, I will go and in- 
form her myself." 

" Your majesty will not forget that I have done everything in my 
power to prevent a rupture." 

" Yes, duke, yes, I know you are very indulgent towards the queen, 
too indulgent, perhaps ; we shall have occasion, I warn you, at some 
future period to speak of that." 

" Whenever it shall please your majesty ; but I shall be always happy 
and proud, sire, to sacrifice myself to the good harmony which I desire 
to see reign between you and the queen of France." 

" It is all very well, cardinal, all very well ; but, in the meantime, send 
for monsieur the keeper of the seals. I will go to the queen." 

And Louis XIII. opening the door of communication, passed into the 
corridor which led to the apartments of Anne of Austria. 

The queen was in the midst of her women, Madame de Guitant, 
Madame de Sable, Madame de Montbazon, and Madame de Gue'me'nd. 
In a corner was the Spanish cameriste, Donna Estefana, who had fol- 
lowed her from Madrid. Madame Gudmdne' was reading aloud, and 
everybody was listening to her with attention, with the exception of 
the queen, who had, on the contrary, desired this reading in order that 
she might be able, whilst feigning to listen, to pursue the thread of her 
own thoughts. 

These thoughts, gilded as they were by a last reflection of love, were 
not the less sad. Anne of Austria, deprived of the confidence of her 
husband, pursued by the hatred of the cardinal, who could not pardon 
her for having repulsed a more tender feeling, having before her eyes 
the example of the queen mother, whom that hatred had tormented all 
her life, though Mary de Medici, if the memoirs of the time are to be 
believed, had begun by according to the cardinal that sentiment which 


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Anne of Austria always refused him ; Anne of Austria had seen fall 
around her her most devoted servants, her most intimate confidants, 
her dearest favourites. Like those unfortunate persons endowed 
with a fatal gift, she brought misfortune upon everything she touched ; 
her friendship was a fatal sign which called down persecution. 
Madame Chevreuse and Madame Vernet were exiled, and Laporte 
did not conceal from his mistress that he expected to be arrested every 

It was at the moment she was plunged in the deepest and darkest 
of these reflections, that the door of the chamber opened, and the king 

The reader was instantly silent, all the ladies rose, and there was a 
profound silence. As to the king, he made no demonstration of polite- 
ness, only stopping before the queen. 

" Madame," said he, " you are about to receive a visit from the chan- 
cellor, who will communicate certain matters to you, with which I have 
charged him." 

The unfortunate queen, who was constantly threatened with divorce, 
exile, and trial even, turned pale under her rouge, and could not refrain 
from saying : 

" But why this visit, sire ? What can monsieur the chancellor have to 
say to me that your majesty could not say yourself ?" 

The king turned upon his heel without reply, and almost at the same 
instant the captain of the guards, M. de Guitant, announced the visit of 
Monsieur the Chancellor. 

When the chancellor appeared, the king had already gone out by 
another door. 

The chancellor entered, half smiling, half blushing. As we shall pro- 
bably meet with him again in the course of our history, it would be quite 
as well for our readers to be made at once acquainted with him. 

This chancellor was a pleasant man. It was Des Roches le Masle, 
canon of Notre Dame, and who had formerly been valet de chambre to 
the cardinal, who introduced him to his eminence as a perfectly devout 
man. The cardinal trusted him, and found his advantage in it 

There were many stories related of him, and amongst them this : 

After a wild youth, he had retired into a convent, there to expiate, at 
least for some time, the follies of adolescence. 

But, on entering this holy place, the poor penitent was unable to shut 
the door so close as to prevent the passions he fled from, from entering 
with him. He was incessantly attacked by them, and the superior, to 
whom he had confided this misfortune, wishing, as much as in him lay, 
to free him from them, had advised him, in order to conjure away the 
tempting demon, to have recourse to the bell-rope, and to ring with all 
his might At the denunciating sound, the monks would be rendered 
aware that temptation was besieging a brother, and all the community 
would go to prayers. 

This advice appeared good to the future chancellor. He conjured the 
evil spirit with abundance of prayers offered up by the monks. But the 


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devil does not suffer himself to be easily dispossessed from a place in 
which he has fixed his garrison : in proportion as they redoubled the 
exorcisms he redoubled the temptations, so that day and night the bell 
was ringing full swing, announcing the extreme desire for mortification 
which the penitent experienced. 

The monks had no longer an instant of repose. By day they did 
nothing but ascend and descend the steps which led to the chapel ; at 
night, in addition to complins and matins, they were further obliged to 
leap twenty times out of their beds and prostrate themselves on the floor 
of their cells. 

It is not known whether it was the devil who gave way, or the monks 
who grew tired ; but within three months the penitent reappeared in the 
world with the reputation of being the most terrible possessed that ever 

On leaving the convent, he entered into the magistracy, became pre- 
sident a mortier in the place of his uncle, embraced the cardinal's party, 
which did not prove want of sagacity ; became chancellor, served his 
eminence with zeal in his hatred against the queen-mother, and his 
vengeance against Anne of Austria ; stimulated the judges in the affair 
of Chalais ; encouraged the essays of M. de Laffemas, grand gibecier of 
France ; then, at length, invested with the entire confidence of the car- 
dinal, a confidence which he had so well earned, he received the singular 
commission for the execution of which he presented himself in the 
queen's apartments. 

The queen was still standing when he entered, but scarcely had she 
perceived him than she reseated herself in her fauteuil, and made a sign 
to her women to resume their cushions and stools, and, with an air of 
supreme hauteur, said : 

u What do you desire, monsieur, and with what object do you present 
yourself here ?" 

" To make, madame, in the name of the king, and without prejudice 
to the respect which I have the honour to owe to your majesty, a close 
perquisition into all your papers." 

" How, monsieur ! a perquisition into my papers ! — mine ! Truly, 
this is an unworthy proceeding !" 

*' Be kind enough to pardon me, madame ; but in this circumstance I 
am but the instrument which the king employs. Has not his majesty 
just left you ? and has he not himself desired you to prepare for this 
visit r 

M Examine, then, monsieur ; I am a criminal, as it appears. Estefana, 
give the keys of my tables and my secretaires." 

For form's sake the chancellor paid a visit to the pieces of furniture 
named, but he well knew that it was not in a piece of furniture that the 
queen would place the important letter she had written in the course of 
the day. 

When the chancellor had opened and shut twenty times the drawers 
of the secretaires, it became necessary, whatever hesitation he might 
experience, it became necessary, I say, to come to the conclusion of the 


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affair — that is to say, to search the queen herself. The chancellor ad- 
vanced, therefore, towards Anne of Austria, and, with a very perplexed 
and embarrassed air— 

" And now," said he, " it remains for me to make the principal per- 

" What is that ?" asked the queen, who did not understand, or, rather, 
was not willing to understand. 

" His majesty is certain that a letter has been written by you in the 
course of the day ; he knows that it has not yet been sent to its address. 
This letter is not in your table- drawers, nor in your secretary ; and yet 
this letter must be somewhere." 

" Would you dare to lift your hand to your queen ?" said Anne of 
Austria, drawing herself up to her full height, and fixing her eyes upon 
the chancellor with an expression almost threatening. 

" I am an humble subject of the king, madame, and all that his 
majesty commands, I shall do." 

" Well, that's true !"' said Anne of Austria ; " and the spies of the 
cardinal have served him faithfully. I have written a letter to-day ; 
that letter is not yet gone. The letter is here." 

And the queen laid her beautiful hand on her bosom. 

" Then give me that letter, madame," said the chancellor. 

41 I will give it to none but the king, monsieur," said Anne. 

"If the king had desired that the letter should be given to him, 
madame, he would have demanded it of you himself, and if you do not 
give it up " 

" Well ?" 

" He has, then, charged me to take it from you.'' 

" How ! what do you say ?" 

" That my orders go far, madame ; and that I am authorised to seek 
for the suspected paper, even on the person of your majesty." 

" What horror !" cried the queen. 

" Be kind enough, then madame, to act more compliantly." 

" This conduct is infamously violent ! Do you know that, monsieur ?" 

" The king commands it, madame ; excuse me." 

" I will not suffer it ! no, no, I would rather die !" cried the queen, 
with whom the imperious blood of Spain and Austria began to rise. 

The chancellor made a profound reverence ; then, with the intention 
quite patent of not drawing back a foot from the accomplishment of 
the commission with which he was charged, and as the attendant of an 
executioner might have done in the chamber of torture, he approached 
Anneof Austria, from whose eyes at the same instant sprang tears of rage. 

The queen was, as we have said, of great beauty. The commission 
might, then, pass for delicate ; and the king had arrived, in his jealousy 
for Buckingham, at the point of being no longer jealous of any one. 

Without doubt the Chancellor Siguier looked about at that moment 
for the rope of the famous bell ; but, not finding it, he summoned his 
resolution, and stretched forth his hands towards the place where the 
queen had acknowledged the paper was to be found. 


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Anne of Austria made one step backward, became so pale that it might 
be said she was dying, and, leaning with her left hand, to keep herself 
from falling, upon a table behind her, she with her right hand drew the 
paper from her bosom, and held i t out to the keeper of the seals. 

" There, monsieur, there is that letter !'' cried the queen, with a 
broken and trembling voice ; " take it, and deliver me from your odious 

The chancellor, who, on his part, trembled with an emotion easily to 
be conceived, took the letter, bowed to the ground, and retired. 

The door was scarcely closed upon him, when the queen sank, half- 
fainting, into the arms of her women. 

The chancellor carried the letter to the king without having read a 
single word of it The king took it with a trembling hand, looked for 
the address, which was wanting, became very pale, opened it slowly, 
then, seeing by the first words that it was addressed to the King of 
Spain, he read it rapidly. 

It was nothing but a plan of an attack against the cardinal. The 
queen pressed her brother and the Emperor of Austria to appear to be 
wounded, as they really were, by the policy of Richelieu, the eternal 
object of which was the abasement of the house of Austria ; to declare 
war against France, and, as a condition of peace, to insist upon the dis- 
missal of the cardinal ; but as to love, there was not a single word about 
it in all the letter. 

The king, quite delighted, inquired if the cardinal was still at the 
Louvre : he was told that his eminence awaited the orders of his majesty 
in the business cabinet. 

The king went straight to him. 

" There, duke," said he, " you were right, and I was wrong : the whole 
intrigue is political, and there is not the least question of love in this said 
letter. But, on the other hand, there is abundant question of you." 

The cardinal took the letter, and read it with the greatest atten- 
tion ; then, when he had arrived at the end of it, he read it a second 

" Well, your majesty," said he, " you see how far my enemies go ; 
they threaten you with two wars if you do not dismiss me. In your 
place, in truth, sire, I should yield to such powerful instances ; and, on 
my part, it would be a real happiness to withdraw from public affairs." 

" What's that you say, duke r 

" I say, sire, that my health is sinking under these annoying struggles, 
and these never-ending labours. I say that, according to all probability, 
I shall not be able to undergo the fatigues of the siege of La Rochelle, 
and that it would be far better that you should appoint there, either M. 
de Conde*, M. de Bassompierre, or some valiant gentleman whose busi- 
ness is war, and not me, who am a churchman, and who am constantly 
turned aside from my real vocation to look after matters for which I 
have no aptitude. You would be the happier for it at home, sire, and 
I do not doubt you would be the greater for it abroad." 

" Monsieur le due,* said the king, " I understand you. Be satisfied, all 


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who are named in that letter shall be punished as they deserve ; and 
the queen herself shall not be forgotten." 

" What do you say, sire ? God forbid that the queen should suffer the 
least inconvenience or uneasiness on my account ! She has always be- 
lieved me, sire, to be her enemy, although your majesty can bear witness 
that I have always taken her part warmly, even against you. Oh ! if she 
betrayed your majesty on the side of your honour, it would be quite 
another thing, and I should be the first to say, * No grace, sire — no grace 
for the guilty !' Fortunately, there is nothing of the kind, and your 
majesty has just acquired a fresh proof of it" 

M That is true, monsieur le cardinal," said the king, " and you were 
right, as you always are ; but the queen, not the less, deserves all my 

" It is you, sire, who have now incurred hers ; and even if she were to 
be seriously offended, I could well understand it ; your majesty has 

treated her with a severity " 

" It is thus I will always treat my enemies and yours, duke, however 
high they may be placed, and whatever peril I may incur in acting 
severely towards them." 

" The queen is my enemy, but is not yours, sire ; on the contrary, she 
is a devoted, submissive, and irreproachable wife ; allow me, then, sire, 
to intercede for her with your majesty." 
" Let her humble herself, then, and come to me first." 
" On the contrary, sire, set the example ; you have committed the 
first wrong, since it was you who suspected the queen.'' 
" What ! I make advances first !"' said the king, " never !" 
Sire, I entreat you to do so." 

Besides, in what manner can I make advances first ?" 
a By doing a thing which you know will be agreeable to her." 
" What is that ?" 

" Give a ball ; you know how much the queen loves dancing. I will 
answer for it, her resentment will not hold out against such an atten- 

" Monsieur le Cardinal, you know that I do not like mundane 

" The queen will only be the more grateful to you, as she knows 
your antipathy for that amusement ; besides, it will be an opportunity 
for her to wear those beautiful diamonds which you gave her recently, 
on her birthday, and with which she has since had no occasion to adorn 

" We shall see, Monsieur le Cardinal, we shall see," said the king, 
who, in his joy at finding the queen guilty of a crime which he cared 
little about, and innocent of a fault of which he had great dread, was 
ready to make up all differences with her ; " we shall see, but, upon my 
honour, you are too indulgent towards her." 

" Sire," said the cardinal, "leave severity to your ministers ; clemency 
is a royal virtue ; employ it, and you will find you derive advantage 
from it." 


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Upon which the cardinal^ hearing ttte clock strike eleven, bowed 
lowly, demanding permission of the king to retire, and supplicating him 
to come to a good understanding with the queen. 

Anne of Austria, who, in consequence of the seizure of her letter, 
expected reproaches, was much astonished the next day to see the king 
make S' -<e attempts at reconciliation with her. Her first movement 
was repulsive, her womanly pride and her queenly dignity had both been 
so cruelly outraged, that she could not come round at the first advance ; 
but, overpersuaded by the advice of her women, she at last had the ap- 
pearance of beginning to forget The king took advantage of this 
favourable moment to tell her that he had the intention of shortly 
giving a fSte. 

A fete was so rare a' thing for poor Anne of Austria, that at this 
announcement, as the cardinal had predicted, the last trace of her 
resentment disappeared, if not from her heart, at least from her counte- 
nance. She asked upon what day this fete would take place, but the 
king replied that he must consult the cardinal upon that head. 

In fact, every day the king asked the cardinal when this f£te should 
take place, and every day the cardinal, under some pretence or other, 
deferred fixing it. Ten days passed away thus. 

On the eighth day after the scene we have described, the cardinal 
received a letter with the London stamp, which only contained these 
lines : 

" I have them, but I am unable to leave London for want of money ; 
send me five hundred pistoles, and four or five days after I have received 
them I shall be in Paris." 

On the same day that the cardinal received this letter, the king put 
his customary question to him. 

Richelieu counted on his fingers, and said to himself : 

" She will arrive, she says, four or five days after having received the 
money ; it will require four or five days for the transmission of the 
money, four or five days for her to return, that makes ten days ; now, 
allowing for contrary winds, accidents, and a woman's weakness, we 
cannot make it, altogether, less than twelve days." 

u Well, monsieur le due," said the king, " have you made your calcu- 
lations ?" 

u Yes, sire, to-day is the 20th of September ; the ichevins of the city 
give a f6te on the 3rd of October. That will fall in wonderfully well ; 
you will not appear to have gone out of your way to please the queen." 

Then the cardinal added : 

u A propos, sire, do not forget to tell her majesty, the evening before 
the f£te, that you should like to see how her diamond studs become 


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It was the second time the cardinal had mentioned these diamond studs 
to the king. Louis XIII. was struck with these repetitions, and began 
to fancy that this recommendation concealed some mystery. 

More than once the king had been humiliated by the cardinal, whose 
police, without having yet attained the perfection of the modern police, 
was excellent,. being better informed than himself even upon what was 
going on in his own household. He hoped, then, in a conversation with 
Anne of Austria, to obtain some information from that conversation, 
and afterwards, to come upon his eminence with some secret, which the 
cardinal either knew or did not know, but which, in either case, would 
raise him infinitely in the eyes of his minister. 

He went then to the queen, and, according to custom, accosted her 
with fresh menaces against those who surrounded her. Anne of Austria 
hung down her head, allowed the torrent to flow on without replying, 
and hoped that it would end by stopping of itself ; but this was not 
what Louis XIII. meant ; Louis XIII. wanted a discussion, from which 
some light or other might break, convinced as he was that the cardinal 
had some after-thought, and was preparing for hiin one of those terrible 
surprises which his eminence was so skilful in getting up. He arrived 
at this end by his persistence in accusing. 

" But," cried Anne of Austria, tired of these vague attacks ; u but, 
sire, you do not tell me all that you have in your heart. What have I 
done, then? Let me know what crime I have committed? It is impos- 
sible that your majesty can make all this to-do about a letter written to 
my brother !" 

The king, attacked in a manner so direct, did not know what to 
answer ; and he thought that this was the moment for expressing the 
desire which he was not to have made until the evening before the f£te. 

" Madame," said he, with dignity, " there will shortly be a ball at the 
Hotel de Ville ; I wish that, to do honour to our worthy /cfovins, you 
should appear at it in ceremonial costume, and particularly ornamented 
with the diamond studs which I gave you on your birthday. That is 
my answer." 

The answer was terrible. Anne of Austria believed that Louis XIII. 
knew all, and that the cardinal had persuaded him to employ this long 
dissimulation of seven or eight days, which, likewise, was characteristic. 
She became excessively pale, leant her beautiful hand upon a console, 
which hand appeared then like one of wax, and looking at the king, 
with terror in her eyes, she was unable to reply by a single syllable. 

" You hear, madame," said the king, who enjoyed this embarrass- 
ment to its full extent, but without guessing the cause, — " You hear, 
madame ?" 

" Yes, sire, I hear," stammered the queen. 

" You will appear at this ball ?" 


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"And with those studs V 


The queen's paleness, if possible increased ; the king perceived it and 
enjoyed it with that cold cruelty which was one of the worst sides of his 

" Then that is agreed," said the king, " and that is all I had to say to 

" But on what day will this ball take place ?" asked Anne of Austria. 

Louis XIII. felt instinctively that he ought not to reply to this ques- 
tion, the queen having put it in an almost inaudible voice. 

a Oh ! very shortly, madame," said he, " but I do not precisely recol- 
lect the date of the day ; I will ask the cardinal" 

" It was the cardinal, then, who informed you of this fete!" 

" Yes, madame," replied the astonished king ; " but why do you ask 
that ?" 

* It was he who told you to desire me to appear there with these 

" That is to say, madame " 

" It was he, sire, it was he !" 

" Well ; and what does it signify whether it was he or I ? Is there 
any crime in this request T 

" No, sire." 

" Then you will appear ?" 

11 Yes, sire." 

" That's well," said the king, retiring, " that's well, I depend upon you." 

The queen made a courtsey, less from etiquette than because her 
knees were sinking under her. 

" I am lost," murmured the queen, " lost ! for the cardinal knows all, 
and it is he who urges on the king, who as yet knows nothing, but will 
soon know everything. I am lost ! my God ! my God ! my God 1" 

She knelt upon a cushion and prayed, with her head buried between 
her palpitating arms. 

In fact, her position was terrible. Buckingham had returned to 
London, Madame de Chevreuse was at Tours. More closely watched 
than ever, the queen felt certain that one of her women betrayed her, 
without knowing how to tell which. Laporte could not leave the 
Louvre ; she had not a soul in the world in whom she could confide. 

Thus, whilst contemplating the misfortune which threatened her, and 
the abandonment in which she was left, she broke out into sobs and tears. 

" Can I be of no service to your majesty ?" said all at once a voice 
full of sweetness and pity. 

The queen turned sharply round, for there could be no deception in 
the expression of that voice : it was a friend who spoke thus. 

In fact, at one of the doors which opened into the queen's apartment, 
appeared the pretty Madame Bonacieux ; she had been engaged in 
arranging the aresses and linen in a closet, when the king entered ; she 
could not get out, and had heard all. 



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The queen uttered a piercing cry at finding herself surprised, for in 
her trouble she did not at first recognise the young woman who had 
been given to her by Laporte. 

" Oh ! fear nothing, madame !" said the young woman, clasping her 
hands, and weeping herself at the queen's sorrows ; "I am your 
majesty's, body and soul, and however far I may be from you, however 
inferior may be my position, I believe I have discovered a means of 
extricating your majesty from your trouble." 

" You ! oh heavens ! you !" cried the queen ; " but look me in the 
face ; 1 am betrayed on all sides ; can I trust in you ?" 

" Oh ! madame !"" cried the young woman, falling on her knees, 
" upon my soul, I am ready to die for your majesty !" 

This expression sprang from the very bottom of the heart, and, like 
the first, there was no mistaking it. 

u Yes," continued Madame Bonacieux, " yes, there are traitors here ; 
but by the holy name of the Virgin, I swear that none is more devoted 
to your majesty than I am. Those studs, which the king speaks of, you 
gave them to the Duke of Buckingham, did you not? Those studs 
were in a little rosewood box, which he held under his arm ? Am I de- 
ceived ? Is it not so, madame ?" 

" Oh ! my God ! my God !" murmured the queen, whose teeth chat- 
tered with fright. 

M Well, those studs," continued Madame Bonacieux, " we must have 
them back again." 

" Yes, without doubt, it must be so," cried the queen, " but how am I 
to act ? How can it be effected ?" 

" Some one must be sent to the duke." 

" But who ? who ? in whom can I trust ?" 

" Place confidence in me, madame ; do me that honour, my queen, 
and I will find a messenger." 

" But I must write." 

" Oh, yes ; that is indispensable. Two words from the hand of your 
majesty and your own private seal." 

44 But these two words would bring about my condemnation, divorce, 

44 Yes, if they fell into infamous hands. But I will answer for these 
two words being delivered to their address." 

" Oh ! my God ! I must then place my life, my honour, my reputa- 
tion, all in your hands ?" 

" Yes, yes, madame, you must, and I will save them all." 

u But how,— tell me at least, how ?*' 

" My husband has been set at liberty these two or three days ; I have 
not yet had time to see him again. He is a worthy, honest man, who 
entertains neither love nor hatred for anybody. He will do anything 
I wish ; he will set out upon receiving an order from me, without 
knowing what he carries, and he will remit your majesty's letter, with- 
out even knowing it is from your majesty, to the address which shall be 
upon it." 


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The queen took the two hands of the young woman with a burst of 
emotion, gazed at her as if to read her very heart, and seeing nothing 
but sincerity in her beautiful eyes, embraced her tenderly. 

44 Do that," cried she, " and you will have saved my life, you will have 
saved my honour !" 

" Oh ! do not exaggerate the service I have the happiness to render 
your majesty ; I have nothing of your majesty's to save, who are only 
the victim of perfidious plots." 

44 That is true, that is true, my child," said the queen, "you are right." 

w Give me then that letter, madame ; time presses. 

The queen ran to a little table, upon which were pens, ink, and 
paper ; she wrote two lines, sealed the letter with her private seal, and 
gave it to Madame Bonacieux. 

44 And now," said the queen, u we are forgetting one very necessary 

44 What is that, madame ?" 

" Money." 

Madame Bonacieux blushed. 

44 Yes, that is true," said she, " and I will confess to your majesty that 
my husband " 

"Your husband has none ; is that what you would say?* 

44 Oh ! yes, he has some, but he is very avaricious, that is his fault 
Nevertheless, let not your majesty be uneasy, we will find means." 

44 And I have none, neither," said the queen. Such as have read the 
Memoirs of Madame de Motteville will not be astonished at this reply. 
" But wait a minute." 

Anne of Austria ran to her jewel-case, — 

44 Here," said she, M here is a ring of great value, as I have been 
assured ; it came from my brother, the king of Spain ; it is mine, and 
I am at liberty to dispose of it Take this ring, make money of it, and 
let your husband set out" 

44 In an hour, you shall be obeyed, madame." 

" You see the address," said the queen, speaking so low that Madame 
Bonacieux could hardly hear what she said, — 44 To Milord Duke of 
Buckingham, London." 

44 The letter shall be given to him himself." 

44 Generous girl !" cried Anne of Austria. 

Madame Bonacieux kissed the hands of the queen, concealed the paper 
in the bosom of her dress, and disappeared with the lightness of a bird. 

Ten minutes afterwards, she was at home ; as she told the queen, she 
had not seen her husband since his liberation, she was ignorant of the 
change that had taken place in him with respect to the cardinal, a 
change which had since been strengthened by two or three visits from 
the Count de Rochefort, who had become the best friend of Bonacieux, 
and had persuaded him that nothing culpable had been intended by 
the carrying off of his wife, but that it was only a piece of political pre- 

She found Bonacieux alone : the poor man was restoring, with much 


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trouble, order in his house, the furniture of which he had found mostly 
broken, and his chests and drawers mostly empty, justice not being one 
of the three things which King Solomon named as leaving no traces of 
their passage. As to the servant, she had run away at the moment of 
her master's arrest. Terror had had such an effect upon the poor girl, 
that she had never ceased walking from Paris till she got to Burgundy, 
her native place. 

The worthy mercer had, immediately upon entering his house, com- 
municated to his wife the news of his happy return, and his wife had 
replied by congratulating him, and telling him that the first moment she 
could steal from her duties should be devoted to paying him a visit. 

This first moment had been delayed five days, which, under any other 
circumstances, might have appeared rather long to Master Bonacieux ; 
but he had, in the visit he had made to the cardinal, and in the visits 
Rochefort had made him, ample subjects for reflection, and, as everybody 
knows, nothing makes time pass more quickly than reflection. 

This was all so much the more so from Bonacieux's reflections all 
being couleur de rose. Rochefort called him his friend, his dear Bona- 
cieux, and never ceased telling him that the cardinal had a great respect 
for him. The mercer fancied himself already in the high road to honours 
and fortune. 

On her side, Madame Bonacieux had also reflected, but it must be 
admitted, upon something widely different from ambition : in spite of 
herself, her thoughts constantly reverted to that handsome young man, 
who was so brave, and appeared to be so much in love. Married at 
eighteen to Monsieur Bonacieux, having always lived amongst her hus- 
band's friends, people very little susceptible of inspiring any sentiment 
whatever in a young woman whose heart was above her position, Madame 
Bonacieux had remained insensible to vulgar seductions : but at this 

Ceriod the title of gentleman had a particularly great influence with the 
ourgeoisie, or citizen class, and D'Artagnan was a gentleman ; besides, 
he wore the uniform of the guards, which, next to that of the musketeers, 
was most admired by the ladies. He was, we repeat, handsome, young, 
and bold ; he spoke of love like a man who did love, and was anxious to 
be loved in return : there was certainly enough in all this to turn a head 
only twenty-three years old, and Madame Bonacieux had just attained 
that happy period of life. 

The married couple then, although they had not seen each other for 
eight days, and that during that time serious events had taken place in 
which both were concerned, accosted each other with a degree of pre- 
occupation : nevertheless, M. Bonacieux manifested real joy, and ad- 
vanced towards his wife with open arms. 

Madame Bonacieux presented her cheek to him. 

" Let us talk a little," said she. 

" How !" said Bonacieux, astonished. 

" Yes ; I have something of great importance to tell you." 

" True," said he, " and I have some questions sufficiently serious to to you. Describe to me how you were carried off." 


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" Oh ! that's of no consequence just now," said Madame Bonacieux. 

" And what does it allude to then ? To my captivity P 

" I heard of it the day it happened ; but as you were not guilty of any 
crime, as you were not guilty of any intrigue, as you, in short, knew 
noihing that could compromise yourself or anybody else, I attached no 
more importance to that event than it merited." 

" You speak pretty much at your ease, madame," said Bonacieux, 
hurt at the little mterestliis wife seemed to take in him : " do you know 
that I was plunged during a whole day and a whole night in a dungeon 
of the Bastille T 

" Oh ! a day and night soon pass away ; let us return to the object 
that brings me here." 

" What ! to that which brings you home to me ! Is it not the desire 
of seeing a husband again from wheftn you have been separated for a 
week ?" asked the mercer, piqued to the quick. 

" Yes, that first, and other things afterwards." 

"Speak then." 

"It is a thing of the highest interest, and upon which our future 
fortune perhaps depends." 

" The complexion of our fortune has changed very much since I saw 
you, Madame Bonacieux, and I should not be astonished if, in the 
course of a few months, it were to excite the envy of many folks." 

" Particularly if you obey the instructions I am about to give you." 


" Yes, to you. There is a good and holy action to be performed, 
monsieur, and much money to be gained at the same time." 

Madame Bonacieux knew that when naming money to her husband, 
she attacked him on his weak side. But a man, were he even a mercer, 
when he has talked for ten minutes with the Cardinal de Richelieu, is 
no longer the same man. 

" Much money to be gained ?" said Bonacieux, protruding his lip. 

"Yes, much." 

" About how much, pray ?" 

" A thousand pistoles, perhaps. 

41 Humph ! What you have to ask ot me then is serious P 

" It is indeed." 

" What is to be done ?" 

" You must set out immediately ; I will give you a paper which you 
must not part with on any account, and which you will deliver into the 
proper hands." 

" And where am I to go to ?" 

" London." 

" I go to London ! You are joking, I have nothing to do in London." 

" But others require that you should go there." 

" But who are those others ? I warn you that I will never again work 
in the dark, and that I will know not only to what I expose myself, but 
for whom I expose myself." 

" An illustrious person sends you, ai} 'illustrious person awaits you : 


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the recompense will exceed your expectations, that is all I promise 

" More intrigues ! nothing but intrigues ! Thank you, madame, I 
am aware of them now ; Monsieur le Cardinal has enlightened me on 
that head." 

" The cardinal ?" cried Madame Bonacieux ; " have you seen the 
cardinal ?" 
" He sent for me," answered the mercer, proudly. 
u And you went ! you imprudent man !" 

" Well, I can't say I had much choice ki going or not going, for I 
was taken to him between two guards. I must also confess that as I did 
not then know his eminence, if I had been able to have declined the 
visit, I should have been delighted to have done so." 
u He ill-treated you, then ? he threatened you ?" 
" He gave me his hand, and he called me his friend — his friend ! do 
you hear that, madame ? I am the friend of the great cardinal !" 
u Of the great cardinal !" 

" Perhaps you would dispute his right to that title, madame r" 
" Oh ! I would dispute his right to nothing ; but I tell you that the 
favour of a minister is ephemeral, and that a man must be mad to attach 
himself to a minister ; there are powers above his which do not depend 
upon a man or the issue of an event, it is around these powers we should 
endeavour to range ourselves." 

" I am sorry for it, madame, but I acknowledge no other power but 
that of the great man whom I have the honour to serve." 
" You serve the cardinal ?" 

" Yes, madame, and as his servant, I will not allow you to be con- 
cerned in plots against the safety of the state, or to assist in the intrigues 
of a woman who is not a Frenchwoman, and who has a Spanish heart. 
Fortunately, we have the great cardinal, his vigilant eye watches over 
and penetrates to the bottom of hearts." 

Bonacieux was repeating, word for word, a sentence which he had 
heard the Count de Rochefort make use of ; but the poor wife, who had 
reckoned on her husband, and who, in that hope, had answered for him 
to the queen, did not tremble the less, both at the danger into which 
she had nearly cast herself, and at the helpless state to which she was 
reduced. Nevertheless, knowing the weakness of her husband, and 
more particularly his cupidity, she did not despair of bringing him 
round to her purpose. 

" Ah ! you are a Cardinalist ! then, monsieur, are you ?" cried she, 
"and you serve the party who ill-treat your wife and insult your 
queen r 

" Private interests are as nothing before the interests of all. I am for 
those who save the state," said Bonacieux, emphatically. 

This was another of the Count de Rochefort's sentences which he had 
retained, and which he sought an occasion to make use of. 

" And what do you know about the state you talk of?" said Madame 
Bonacieux, shrugging her shoulders. " Be satisfied with being a plain, 


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straightforward bourgeois, and turn your attention to that side which 
holds out the greatest advantages." 

"Eh! eh !" said Bonacieux, slapping a plump, round bag, which re- 
turned a sound of money ; " what do you think of this, madam 
preacher ?" 

u Where does that money come from ?" 

" Can't you guess ?" 

" From the cardinal ?" 

" From him, and from my friend the Count de Rochefort." 

"The Count de Rochefort ! why, it was he who carried me off!" 

" Perhaps it was, madame." 

" And you receive money from that man !" 

" Did you not yourself tell me that that carrying off was entirely 
political F 

" Yes, but that event had for its object to make me betray my mis- 
tress, to draw from me by tortures confessions that might have com- 
promised the honour, and perhaps the life of my august mistress." 

" Madame," replied Bonacieux, " your august mistress is a perfidious 
Spaniard, and what the cardinal does is well done." 

" Monsieur," said the young woman, " I know you to be cowardly, 
avaricious, and weak, but I never till now believed you to be in- 
famous !" 

" Madame !" said Bonacieux, who had never seen his wife in a passion, 
and who retreated before this conjugal anger ; " Madame, what is that 
you say ?" 

" I say you are a miserable mean creature !" continued Madame 
Bonacieux, who saw she was regaining some little influence over her 
husband. " You meddle with politics, do you ! And still more, with 
cardinalist politics ! Why, you are selling yourself, body and soul, to 
the devil, for money !" 

" No, but to the cardinal." 

u It's the same thing !" cried the young woman. " Who says Riche- 
lieu says Satan !" 

" Hold your tongue ! hold your tongue, madam ; we may be over- 

" Yes, you are right, I should be ashamed for anyone to know your 

" But what do you require of me, then ; come, let us see !" 

" I have told you : you must set out instantly, monsieur ; you must 
accomplish loyally the commission with which I deign to charge you, 
and on that condition I pardon everything, I forget everything ; and 
still further,"— and she held out her hand to him — 4< I give you my love 

Bonacieux was a coward, and he was avaricious, but he loved his 
wife — he was softened. A man of fifty cannot long bear malice with a 
pretty wife of twenty-three. Madame Bonacieux saw that he hesitated. 

" Come ! have you made your mind up ?" said she. 

" But, my dear love ! reflect a little upon what you require of me. 


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London is far from Paris, very far, and perhaps the commission with 
which you charge me is not without dangers ?" 

" Of what consequence is that, if you avoid them ?'' 

" Well, then, Madame Bonacieux," said the mercer, " well, then, I 
positively refuse : intrigues terrify me. I have seen the Bastille ; I 
— whew ! — that's a frightful place, that Bastille! only to think of it makes 
my flesh crawl. They threatened me with torture ! Do you know 
what the torture is ? Wooden points that they stick in between your 
legs till your bones burst out ! No, positively I will not go. And, 
morbleu ! why do you not go yourself? for, in truth, I think I have 
hitherto been deceived in you ; I really believe you are a man, and a 
violent one too." 

" And you, you are a woman, a miserable woman, stupid and bruti- 
fied. You are afraid, are you ? Well, if you do not go this very in- 
stant, I will have you arrested by the aueen's orders, and I will have 
you placed in that Bastille which you dread so much." 

Bonacieux fell into a profound reflection ; he turned the two angers 
in his brain, that of the cardinal and that of the queen ; that of the 
cardinal predominated enormously. 

4i Have me arrested o;i the part of the queen," said he, "and I, I will 
appeal to his eminence." 

At once, Madame Bonacieux saw that she had gone too far, and she 
was terrified at having communicated so much. She for a moment 
contemplated, with terror, that stupid countenance, impressed with the 
invincible resolution of a fool that is overcome by fear. 

" Well, be it so !" said she. " Perhaps, when all is considered, you are 
right : in the long run, a man knows more about politics than a woman 
does, particularly such as, like you, Monsieur Bonacieux, have con- 
versed with the cardinal. And yet it is very hard," added she, " that 
a man upon whose affection I thought I might depend, treats me thus 
unkindly, and will not comply with any of my fancies." 

" That is because your fancies might lead you too far," replied the 
triumphant Bonacieux, " and I mistrust them." 

" Well, I will give it up, then, " said the young woman, sighing ; " it 
is as well as it is, say no more about it." 

" Yes, at least you should tell me what I should have to do in Lon- 
don," replied Bonacieux, who remembered a little too late, that Roche- 
fort had desired him to endeavour to obtain his wife's secrets. 

" It is of no use for you to know anything about it," said the young 
woman, whom an instinctive mistrust now impelled to draw back : " it 
was about one of those purchases that interest women, a purchase by 
which much might have been gained." 

But the more the young woman excused herself, the more important 
Bonacieux conceived the secret to be which she declined to communi- 
cate to him. He resolved, then, that instant to hasten to the residence 
of the Count de Rochefort, and tell him that the queen was seeking for 
a messenger to send to London. 

•• Pardon me for leaving you, my dear Madame Bonacieux," said he ; 


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"but not knowing you would come to see me, I had made an engage- 
ment with a friend ; I shall soon return, and if you will wait only a 
few minutes for me, as soon as I have concluded my business with that 
friend, as it is growing late, I will come and conduct you back to the 

" Thank you, monsieur, you are not obliging enough to be of any use 
to me whatever," replied Madame Bonacieux ; " I shall return very 
safely to the Louvre by myself." 

" As you please, Madame Bonacieux," said the ex-mercer, " shall I 
have the pleasure of seeing you soon again ?" 

" Yes, next week, I hope my duties will afford me a little liberty, and 
I will take advantage of it to come and put things in order here, as 
they must, necessarily, be much deranged." 

" Very well ; I shall expect you. You are not angry with me ?" 

" Who, I ?— Oh ! not the least in the world." 

" Till then, then ?" 

"Till then, adieu!" 

Bonacieux kissed his wife's hand and set off at a quick pace. 

" Well !" said Madame Bonacieux when her husband had shut the 
street door, and she found herself alone, " there wanted nothing to com- 
plete that poor creature but being a cardinalist ! And I, who have 
answered for him to the queen ! I, who have promised my poor 
mistress ! Ah ! my God ! my God ! she will take me for one of those 
wretches with whom the palace swarms, and which are placed about 
her as spies ! Ah ! Monsieur Bonacieux ! I never did love you much, 
but now, it is worse than ever : I hate you ! and by my word, you shall 
pay for this !" 

At the moment she spoke these words a rap on the ceiling made her 
raise her head, and a voice which reached her through the plaster, 
cried : 

" Dear Madame Bonacieux, open the little passage-door for me, and 
I will come down to you." 



" AH ! madame," said D'Artagnan, as he entered by the door which 
the young woman had opened for him, " allow me to tell you, that you 
have a bad sort of a husband there !" 

" You have then overheard our conversation ?" asked Madame Bona- 
cieux, eagerly, and looking at D'Artagnan with much uneasiness. 

" The whole of it" 

" But how, my God ! could you do that ?" 

" By a mode of proceeding known to myself, and by which I likewise 
overheard the more animated conversation which you had with the 
cardinal's sbirriP 

" And what did you understand by what you heard us say ?" 


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" A thousand things ; in the first place that, fortunately, your hus- 
band is a simpleton and a fool ; in the next place you are in trouble, of 
which I am very glad, as it gives me an opportunity of placing myself 
at your service, and God knows I am ready to throw myself into the 
fire for you ; and that the queen wants a brave, intelligent, devoted 
man to make a journey to London for her. I have, at least, two 
of the qualities you stand in need of,— and here I am." 

Madame Bonacieux made no reply, but her heart beat with joy, and 
secret hope shone in her eyes. 

" And what pledge can you give me," asked she, " if I consent to con- 
fide this message to you r" 

" My love for you. Speak ! command ! What must I do ?" 

" My God ! my God !" murmured the young woman, " ought I to 
confide such a secret to you, monsieur ? You are almost a boy I" 

" I suppose, then, you require some one to answer for me ?" 

" I admit that that would reassure me greatly." 

" Do you know Athos ?' 

" No." 

" Porthos ?" 

" No." 


" No ; who are these gentlemen?' 

" Three of the king's musketeers. Do you know M. de Treville, their 
captain ?" 

" Oh ! yes, him, I know him ; not personally, but from having 
heard the queen speak of him more than once as a brave and loyal 

" You are not afraid that he would betray you for the sake of the 
cardinal ?" 

" Oh ! no, certainly." 

" Well, reveal your secret to him, and ask him, whether, however im- 
portant, however valuable, however terrible it may be, you may not 
safely confide it to me." 

" But this secret is not mine, and I cannot reveal it in this manner." 

" Why, you were going to confide it to M. Bonacieux," said D'Artag- 
nan, with an offended tone. 

" As we confide a letter to the hollow of a tree, to the wing of a 
pigeon, or the collar of a dog." 

" And yet me ;— -you see plainly that I love you." 

" You say so." 

" I am an honourable man." 

" I believe so." 

" I am brave." 

"Oh! I am sure of that." 

" Then, put me to the proof." 

Madame Bonacieux looked at the young man, restrained for a 
minute by a last hesitation ; but there was such an ardour in his 
eyes, such persuasion in his voice, that she felt herself drawn on to 


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place confidence in him. Besides, she was in one of those circum- 
stances in which everything must be risked for the sake of every- 
thing. The queen also might be as much injured by too much dis- 
cretion as by too much confidence— and— let us admit it, the involun- 
tary sentiment which she felt for her young protector, compelled her to 

" Listen," said she, " I yield to your protestations, I yield to your 
assurances. But I swear to you, before God who hears us, that if you 
betray me, and my enemies pardon me, I will kill myself, whilst accus- 
ing you of my death." 

" And I, I swear to you before God, madame," said D'Artagnan, 
u that if I am taken whilst accomplishing the orders you give me, I 
will die sooner than do anything, or say anything, that may compromise 
any one." 

Then the young woman confided to him the terrible secret of 
which chance had already communicated to him a part, in front of the 

This was their mutual declaration of love. 

D'Artagnan was radiant with joy and pride. This secret which 
he possessed, this woman whom he loved ! Confidence and love made 
him a giant. 

" I will go," said he, " I will go at once." 

" How ! you will go !" said Madame Bonacieux; " and your regiment, 
your captain ?" 

" By my soul, you have made me forget all that, dear Constance ! 
Yes, you are right, I must obtain leave of absence." 

" There is still another obstacle," murmured Madame Bonacieux, 

"Whatever it may be," cried D'Artagnan, after a moment of reflec- 
tion, " I shall surmount it, be assured." 

" How ?" 

" I will go this very evening to M. de TreVille, whom I will request 
to ask this favour for me of his brother-in-law, M. des Essarts." 

" But still, there is another thing." 

" \yhat is that ?" asked D'Artagnan, seeing that Madame Bonacieux 
hesitated to continue. 

" You have, perhaps, no money ?" 

" Perhaps is too much," said D'Artagnan, smiling. 

" Then," replied Madame Bonacieux, opening a cupboard and taking 
from it the very bag which half an hour before her husband had 
caressed so affectionately, " take this bag." 

" The cardinal's !" cried D'Artagnan, breaking into a loud laugh, he 
having heard, as may be remembered, thanks to his broken floor, every 
syllable of the conversation between the mercer and his wife. 

" The cardinal's," replied Madame Bonacieux ; " you see it makes a 
very respectable appearance." 

" Pardieu !" cried D'Artagnan, " it will be a doubly amusing affair to 
save the queen with the cardinal's money !" 


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" You are an amiable and a charming young man !" said Madame 
Bonacieux. " Be assured you will not find her majesty ungrateful." 

" Oh ! I am already more than recompensed !" cned D'Artagnan. 
" I love you ; you permit me to tell you that I do ; that is already more 
happiness than I dared to hope for." 
" Silence !" said Madame Bonacieux, starting. 
" What !" 
" Some one is talking in the street." 

" It is the voice of " 

" Of my husband ! Oh ! yes ; I recognised it !" 
D'Artagnan ran to the door and drew the bolt. 
" He shall not come in before I am gone," said he ; " and when I am 
gone, you can open the door for him." 

" But I ought to be gone, too. And the disappearance of this money, 
how am I to justify it, if I am here ?" 
" You are right ; we must go out." 
" Go out ? How ? He will see us if we go out." 
" Then you must come up into my room. 

" Ah !" said Madame Bonacieux, " you speak that in a tone that ter- 
rifies me !" 

Madame Bonacieux pronounced these words with tears in her eyes. 
D'Artagnan saw those tears, and much disturbed, softened, he threw 
himself at her feet 

" In my apartment you will be as safe as in a temple ; I give you 
my word of a gentleman." 

" Let us go, then, I place full confidence in you, my friend !" 
D\Artagnan drew back the bolt with precaution, and both, light as 
shadows, glided through the interior door into the passage, ascended the 
stairs as quietly as possible, and entered D'Artagnan's apartment. 

Once in his apartment, for greater security, the young man barri- 
caded the door. They both went up to the window, and, through a slit 
in the shutter, they saw M. Bonacieux talking with a man in a cloak. 

At the sight of this man, D'Artagnan started, half drew his sword, 
and sprang towards the door. 
It was the man of Meung. 

" What are you going to do ?" cried Madame Bonacieux ; " you will 
ruin us all !" 
" But I have sworn to kill that man !" said D'Artagnan. 
"At this time your life is devoted, and does not belong to you ! In 
the name of the queen I forbid you to throw yourself into any danger 
which is foreign to that of your voyage !" 
" And do you command nothing in your own name ?" 
" In my name ?" said Madame Bonacieux, with great emotion ; " in 
my name I beg you ! But listen ; they appear to be speaking of me." 
D'Artagnan drew near the window, and listened. 
M. Bonacieux had opened his door, and seeing the apartment empty, 
had returned to the man in the cloak, whom he had left alone for an 


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u She is gone," said he ; " she must be gone back to the Louvre." 

" You are sure," replied the stranger, " that she did not suspect the 
intention you went out with ?' 

" No," replied Bonacieux, with a self-sufficient air, u she is too super- 
ficial a woman." 

" Is the young guardsman at home ?" 

" I do not think he is ; as ycu see, his shutter is closed, and there is 
no light through the chinks of the shutters." 

" That's true ; but it's as well to be certain." 

u How can we be so ?" 

a By knocking at his door." 


" I will ask his servant" 

Bonacieux went into the house again, passed through the same door 
that had afforded a passage for the two fugitives, went up to D'Artag- 
nan's door, and knocked. 

No one answered. Porthos, to make a greater display, had that even- 
ing borrowed Planchet. As to D'Artagnan, he took care not to give 
the least sign of existence. 

At the moment the finger of Bonacieux sounded on the door, the two 
young people felt their hearts bound within them. 

" There is nobody within," said Bonacieux. 

" Never mind ; let us walk into your apartment ; we shall be better 
there than in the doorway." 

" Oh ! Good God !" whispered Madame Bonacieux, " we shall hear 
no more." 

" On the contrary," said D'Artagnan, " we shall hear the better/' 

D'Artagnan raised the three or four boards which made another 
Dionysius's ear of his chamber, spread a carpet, went down upon his 
knees, and made a sign to Madame Bonacieux to do as he did, stoop- 
ing down towards the opening. 

" You are sure there is nobody there ?" said the unknown. 

" I will answer for it," said Bonacieux. 

" And you think that your wife " 

"Is returned to the Louvre." 

" Without speaking to anyone but yourself?" 

"lam sure of it." 

" Please to understand, that is an important point" 

" Then the news I brought you is valuable ?" 

" Very, my dear Bonacieux ; I don't attempt to deny it." 

" Then the cardinal will be pleased with me ?" 

" No doubt he will" 

" The great cardinal !" 

"Are you sure, that in her conversation with you, your wife men- 
tioned no proper names ?" 

" I don't think she did." 

? She did not name Madame de Chevreuse, the Duke of Buckingham, 
or Madame de Vernet ?" 


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" No ; she only told me she wished to send me to London, to further 
the interests of an illustrious personage. " 

" Oh ! the traitor !" murmured Madame Bonacieux. 

" Silence !" whispered D'Artagnan, taking a hand, which, without 
thinking of it, she suffered him to retain. 

" Never mind," continued the man in the cloak ; " it was very silly of 
you not to have feigned to accept the mission ; you would now be in 
possession of the letter ; the state, which is now threatened, would be 
safe ; and you " 

44 And I r 

" Well, you ! The cardinal would have given you letters of nobility ." 

" Did he teU you so ?" 

" Yes, I know that he meant to afford you that agreeable surprise." 

" Be satisfied," replied Bonacieux ; " my wife adores me, and there is 
still plenty of time." 

"The silly fool !" murmured Madame Bonacieux. 

" Silence !" said D'Artagnan, pressing her hand more closely. 

" What do you mean by its being still time ?" asked the man in the 

" I will go to the Louvre, I will ask for Madame Bonacieux, I will 
tell her I have reflected upon the matter, I will renew the affair, I will 
obtain the letter, and I will run directly to the cardinal's." 

" Well ! begone then ! make all possible haste : I will shortly come 
back to learn the result of your plan." 

The unknown went out. 

" Base old fool !" said Madame Bonacieux, addressing this affectionate 
epithet to her husband. 

" Silence, once more !" said D'Artagnan, pressing her hand still more 

A terrible howling interrupted these reflections of D'Artagnan and 
Madame Bonacieux. It was her husband, who had discovered the 
disappearance of his money bag, and was screaming out, " Thieves ! 
thieves 1" 

" Oh ! good God," cried Madame Bonacieux, " he will rouse the whole 

Bonacieux cried for a long time ; but, as such cries, on account of their 
frequency, did not attract much notice in the Rue des Fossoyeurs, 
and as lately the mercer's house had not been in very good repute, 
finding that nobody came, he went out, crying aloud, his voice being 
heard fainter and fainter, in the direction of the Rue du Bac. 

" Now he is gone, it is your turn to get out," said Madame Bonacieux : 
" courage, my friend, but, above all, prudence, and think what you owe 
to the queen !" 

" To her and to you !" cried D'Artagnan. " Be satisfied, lovely Con- 
stance. I shall prove worthy of her gratitude ; but shall I likewise 
return worthy of your love ?" 

The young woman only replied by the beautiful glow which mounted 
to her cheeks. A few seconds after, D'Artagnan went out in bis turn, 


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enveloped likewise in a large cloak, which ill-concealed the sheath of a 
long sword. 

Madame Bonacieux followed him with her eyes, with that long, fond 
look with which a woman accompanies the man she loves ; but when 
he had turned the angle of the street, she fell on her knees, and clasp- 
ing her hands, — 

" Oh ! my God !" cried she, " protect the queen, protect me J" 



D'Artagnan went straight to the hotel of M. de TreVille. He had re- 
flected that in a few minutes the cardinal would be warned by this 
cursed unknown, who appeared to be his agent, and he judged, with 
reason, he had not a moment to lose. 

The heart of the young man overflowed with joy. An opportunity 
presented itself to him in which there would be both glory and money 
to be gained, and, as a far higher encouragement still, which had brought 
him into close intimacy with a woman he adored. This chance did 
then for him, at once, more than he would have dared to ask of Provi- 

M. de TreVille was in his saloon with his habitual court of gentlemen. 
D'Artagnan, who was known as a familiar of the house, went straight 
to his cabinet, and sent word to him that he wished to see him upon an 
affair of importance. 

D'Artagnan had been there scarcely five minutes when M. de TreVille 
entered. At the first glance, and by the joy which was painted on his 
countenance, the worthy captain plainly perceived that something fresh 
and extraordinary was on foot. 

All the way he came, D'Artagnan was consulting with himself whether 
he should place confidence in M. de TreVille, or whether he should only 
ask him to give him carte blanche for a second affair. But M. de Tre- 
ville had always been so perfectly his friend, had always been so devoted 
to the king and queen, and hated the cardinal so cordially, that the young 
man resolved to tell him everything. 

" Did you ask for me, my young friend T* said M. de TreVille. 

"Yes, monsieur," said D'Artagnan, " you will pardon me, I hope, for 
having disturbed you, when you know the importance of my business." 

" Speak, then, I am attentive." 

"It concerns nothing less," said D'Artagnan, lowering his voice, " than 
the honour, perhaps the life, of the queen." 

" What do you say ?" asked M. de TreVille, glancing round to see if 
they were alone, and then fixing his interrogative look upon D'Artag- 

" I say, monsieur, that chance has rendered me master of a secret-r" 

'* Which you will keep, I hope, young man, sacred as your life." 



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u But which I must impart to >ou, monsieur, for you alone can assist 
me in the mission I have just received from her majesty." 

"Is this secret your own ?" 

" No, monsieur, it is her majesty's." 

" Are you authorised by her majesty to communicate it to me ?" 

" No, monsieur, for on the contrary, I am desired to preserve the pro- 
foundest mystery." 

" Why, then, are you about to betray it with respect to me?" 

" Because, as I said, without you I can do nothing, and I was afraid 
that you would refuse me the favour I am come to ask, if you were not 
acquainted with the object for which I requested it of you." 

" Keep your secret, young man, and tell me what you wish." 

" I wish you to obtain for me, from M. des Essarts, leave of absence 
for a fortnight." 


" This very night." 

" You are leaving Paris ?" 

"lam going on a mission." 

" May you tell me whither ?" 

"To London." 

" Has any one an interest in preventing your arriving there ?* 

" The cardinal, I believe, would give anything in the world to prevent 
my success." 

" And you are going alone ?" 

" I am going alone r" 

" In that case you will not get beyond Bondy ; I tell you so, by the 
word of De TreVille." 

" How so, monsieur ?" 

"You will be assassinated." 

" And I shall die in the performance of my duty.'' 

" Yes, but please to recollect your mission will not be accomplished.* 

" That is true !" replied D'Artagnan. 

" You may take my word," continued Tre*ville, " in enterprises of this 
kind, in order that one may arrive, four must set out." 

"Ah ! you are right, monsieur," said D'Artagnan ; "but you know 
Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, and you know if I can dispose of them." 

" Without confiding to them the secret which I was not willing to 

" We are sworn, once for ever, implicit confidence and devotedness 
against all proof; besides, you can tell them that you have full confi- 
dence in me, and they will not be more incredulous than you." 

" I can send to each of them leave of absence for a fortnight, that is 
all : Athos, whose wound still gives him inconvenience, to go to the 
waters of Forges ; to Porthos and Aramis to accompany their friend, 
whom they are not willing to abandon in such a painful position. The 
sending of their leave of absence will be proof enough that I authorise 
their voyage." 

" Thanks, monsieur ! you are a hundred times kind !" 


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" Begone then, find them instantly, and let all be done to night. Ha ! 
but first write your request to M. des Essarts. You, perhaps, had a 
spy at your heels, and your visit, if it should ever be known to the -car- 
dinal, will be thus legitimated." 

D'Artagnan drew up his request, and M. de TreVille, on receiving it, 
assured him that by two o'clock in the morning, the four leaves of 
absence should be at the respective domiciles of the travellers. 

" Have the goodness to send mine to Athos's residence. I should 
dread some disagreeable encounter if I were to go home." 

" I will Adieu ! and a prosperous voyage ! Apropos !" said M. de 
TreVille, calling him back. 

D'Artagnan returned. 

" Have you any money ?" 

D'Artagnan tapped the bag he had in his pocket. 

" Enough ?" asked M. de Treville. 

" Three hundred pistoles." 

* Oh ! plenty ; that would carry you to the end of the world : begone 

D'Artagnan bowed to M. de TreVille, who held out his hand to him ; 
D'Artagnan pressed it with a respect mixed with gratitude. Since his 
first arrival at Paris, he had had constant occasion to honour this ex- 
cellent man, whom he had always found worthy, loyal, and great 

His first visit was for Aramis, at whose residence he had not been 
since the famous evening on which he had followed Madame Bonacieux. 
Still further, he had seen the young musketeer but seldom, but every 
time he had seen him, he had remarked a deep sadness imprinted on 
his countenance. 

He found Aramis this evening, sitting up, but melancholy and 
thoughtful ; D'Artagnan risked a question or two about this prolonged 
melancholy ; Aramis pleaded as nis excuse a commentary upon the 
eighteenth chapter of St. Augustin, that he was forced to write in Latin, 
for the following week, and which preoccupied him a good deal. 

After the two friends had been chatting a few instants, a servant 
from M. de TreVille entered, bringing a sealed packet. 

" What is that," asked Aramis. 

" The leave of absence monsieur has asked for," replied the lackey. 

" For me ! I have asked for no leave of absence !" 

" Hold your tongue, and take it," said D'Artagnan. " And you, my 
friend, there is a demi-pistole for your trouble ; you will tell M. de Tr<5- 
ville that M. Aramis is very much obliged to him. Go." 

The lackey bowed to the ground and departed. 

" What does all this mean ?" asked Aramis. 

" Pack up all you want for a journey of a fortnight, and follow me." 

" But I cannot leave Paris, just now, without knowing " 

Aramis stopped. 

"What is become of her? I suppose you mean "continued 


" Become of whom ?" replied Aramis. 



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" The lady who was here, the lady of the embroidered handkerchief. " 

" Who told you there was a lady here V replied Aramis, becoming 
as pale as death. 

" I saw her." 

" And you know who she is ?" 

" Well, I think I can give a pretty good guess, at least" 

" Then," said Aramis, " since you appear to know so many things, 
can you tell me what is become of that lady ?" 

" I presume that she is gone back to Tours." 

" To Tours ? yes, that may be ; you evidently know her. But why 
did she return to Tours without telling me anything about it ?" 

" Because she was in fear of being arrested." 

" Why did she not write to me then ?" 

" Because she was afraid of compromising you." 

" D'Artagnan, you restore me to life ?" cried Aramis. " I fancied my- 
self despised, betrayed. I was so delighted to see her again ! I could 
not have believed she would risk her liberty for me, and yet for what 
other cause could she have returned to Paris ?" 

" For the cause which, to-day, carries us to England." 

" And what is this cause ?" demanded Aramis. 

" Oh ! you'll know it some day, Aramis ; but, at present, I must beg 
leave to imitate the discretion of the doctor's niece" 

Aramis smiled, as he remembered the tale he had related to his friends 
on a certain evening. 

" Well, then, since she has left Paris, and you are sure of it, D'Artag- 
nan, nothing prevents me, and I am ready to follow you. You say we 
are going " 

" To Athos's residence, now, and if you will come thither, I beg you 
to make haste, for we have lost much time already. Apropos, inform 

" Will Bazin go with us ?" asked Aramis. 

" Perhaps so. At all events, it is best that he should follow us to 

Aramis called Bazin, and after having ordered him to join them at 
Athos's residence : " Let us go, then," said he, taking his cloak, sword, 
and three pistols, opening uselessly two or three drawers to see if he 
could not find some stray coin or other. When well assured this search 
was superfluous, he followed D'Artagnan, wondering to himself how 
this young guardsman should know so well who the lady was to whom 
he had given hospitality, and that he should know better than he did 
what was become of her. 

Only, as they went out, Aramis placed his hand upon the arm of 
D'Artagnan, and looking at him earnestly,— 

" You have not spoken of this lady ?" said he. 

" To nobody in the world." 

" Not even to Athos or Porthos ?" 

" I have not breathed a syllable to them," 

"That's well!" 


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And, at ease on this important point, Aramis continued his road with 
D'Artagnan, and both soon arrived at Athos's dwelling. 

They found him holding his leave of absence in one hand, and M. de 
Tre'ville's note in the other. 

" Can you explain to me what this leave of absence and this letter, 

which I have just received mean ?" said the astonished Athos : " My 

dear Athos, I wish, as your health absolutely requires it, that you should 
rest for a fortnight. Go, then, and take the waters of Forges, or any 
that may be more agreeable to you, and re-establish yourself as quickly 
as possible. — Your affectionate De TreVille." 

" Well ; this leave of absence and that letter mean that you must 
follow me, Athos." 

" To the waters of the Forges ?" 

" There or elsewhere." 

"In the king's service ?" 

" Either the king's or the queen's ; are we not their majesties' ser- 
vants ?" 

At that moment Porthos entered. 

" Pardieu /" said he ; " here is a strange thing has happened ! Since 
when, I wonder, in the musketeers, did they grant men leave of absence 
without its being asked for ?" 

" Since," said D'Artagnan, " they have friends who ask it for them." 

" Ah, ah !" said Porthos, " it appears there's something fresh afoot ?" 

" Yes, we are going " said Aramis. 

" Going ! to what country ?" demanded Porthos. 

" Mafoi / I don't know much about it," said Athos ; " ask D'Artag- 
nan here." 

" To London, gentlemen," said D'Artagnan. 

" To London !" cried Porthos ; " and what the devil are we going to 
do in London ?" 

" That is what I am not at liberty to tell you, gentlemen ; you must 
trust to me." 

" But, in order to go to London, a man should have some money ; 
and I have none." 

" Nor I," said Aramis. 

" Nor I," said Porthos. 

" Well, I have," added D'Artagnan, pulling out his treasure from his 
pocket, and placing it on the table. There are in this bag three hundred 
pistoles. Let each take seventy-five, which will be quite enough to take 
us to London and back. Besides, we may be sure that all of us will not 
arrive at London." 

" Why so ?" 

" Because, according to all probability, some of us will be left on the 

" What is this, then, a campaign upon which we are entering ?" 

" And a most dangerous one. I give you fair notice." 

"Ah ! ah ! but if we do risk being killed," said Porthos, "at least I 
should like to know what for." 


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" You would be all the wiser !" said Athos. 

" And yet," said Aramis, " I am somewhat of Porthos's opinion. ,, 

"Is the king accustomed to give you such reasons ? No. He says 
to you, very simply : 4 Gentlemen, there is fighting going on in Gascony 
or in Flanders ; go and fight ;' and you go there. Why ? You need 
give yourselves no uneasiness about that" 

" D'Artagnan is right," said Athos ; "here are our three leaves of 
absence, which came from M. de Treville ; and here are three hundred 
pistoles, which came from I don't know where. So let us go and get 
lulled where we are told to go. Is life worth the trouble of so many 
questions ? D'Artagnan, I am ready to follow you." 

"And I," said Porthos. 

44 And I, also," said Aramis. "And, indeed, I am not sorry to quit 
Paris ; I stood in need of a little distraction." 

" Well, you will have distractions enough, gentlemen, be assured," 
said D'Artagnan. 

" And, now, when are we to go ?" asked Athos. 

"Immediately," replied D'Artagnan; "we have not a minute to 

" Hola ! Grimaud, Planchet, Mousqueton, Bazin !" cried the four 
young men, calling their lackeys, " clean my boots, and fetch the horses 
from the hotel." 

Each musketeer was accustomed to leave at the general hotel, as at a 
barrack, his own horse and that of his lackey. 

Planchet, Grimaud, Mousqueton, and Bazin set off at full speed. 

" Now let us lay down the plan of the campaign," said Porthos, 
" Where do we go first ?" 

41 To Calais," said D'Artagnan; "that is the most direct line to 

44 Well," said Porthos, " this is my advice " 

" Speak,— what is it ?" 

14 Four men travelling together would be suspicious ; D'Artagnan will 
give each of us his instructions ; I will go by the way of Boulogne, to 
clear the way ; Athos will set out two hours after, by that of Amiens ; 
Aramis will follow us by that of Noyou ; as to D'Artagnan, he will go 
by what route he thinks best, in Planchet's clothes, whilst Planchet will 
follow us like D'Artagnan, in the uniform of the guards." 

44 Gentlemen," said Athos, " my opinion is that it is not proper to 
allow lackeys to have anything to do in such an affair : a secret may, 
by chance, be betrayed by gentlemen ; but it is almost always sold by 

44 Porthos's plan appears to me to be impracticable," said D'Artagnan, 
44 inasmuch as I am myself ignorant of what instructions I can give you. 
I am the bearer of a letter, that is all I have not, and I cannot make 
three copies of that letter, because it is sealed : we must then, as it 
appears to me, travel in company. This letter is here, in this pocket ;" 
and he pointed to the pocket which contained the letter. " If I should 
be killed, one of you must take it, and pursue the route ; if he be killed, 


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it will be another's turn, and so on ; provided a single one arrives, that 
is all that is required." 

" Bravo, D'Artagnan ! your opinion is mine," cried Athos. " Besides, 
we must be consistent ; I am going to take the waters, you will accom- 
pany me ; instead of taking the waters of Forges, I go and take sea 
waters ; I am free to do so. If any one wishes to stop us, I will show 
M. de TreVille's letter, and you will show your leaves of absence ; if we 
are attacked, we will defend ourselves ; if we are tried, we will stoutly 
maintain that we were only anxious to dip ourselves a certain number of 
times in the sea. They would have an easy bargain of four isolated 
men ; whereas four men together make a troop. We will arm our four 
lackeys with pistols and musketoons ; if they send an army out against 
us, we will give battle, and the survivor, as D'Artagnan says, will carry 
the letter." 

" Well said," cried Aramis ; " you don't often speak, Athos ; but 
when you do speak, it is like Saint John of the Golden Mouth. I agree 
to Athos's plan. And you, Porthos ?" 

" I agree to it, too," said Porthos, " if D'Artagnan approves of it. 
D'Artagnan being bearer of the letter, is naturally the head of the 
enterprise ; let him decide, and we will execute." 

" Well !" said D'Artagnan ; " I decide that we should adopt Athos's 
plan, and that we set off in half an hour." 

"Agreed !" shouted the three musketeers in chorus. 

And every one, stretching out his hand to the bag, took his seventy- 
five pistoles, and made his preparations to set out at the time ap- 



At two o'clock in the morning, our four adventurers left Paris by the 
barrier St. Denis ; as long as it was dark they remained silent ; in spite 
of themselves they felt the influence of the obscurity, and apprehended 
ambushes everywhere. 

With the first rays of the sun their tongues became loosened ; with 
day their gaiety revived ; it was like the eve of a battle, the heart beat, 
the eyes laughed, and they felt that the life they were perhaps going to 
lose, was, after all, worth something. 

Besides, the appearance of the caravan was formidable ; the black 
horses of the musketeers, their martial carriage, with the squadron-like 
step of these noble companions of the soldier, would have betrayed the 
most strict incognito. The lackeys followed, armed to the teeth. 

All went well till they arrived at Chantilly, which place they reached 
about eight o'clock in the morning. They stood in need of breakfast ; 
and alighted at the door of an auberge, recommended by a sign repre- 
senting St. Martin giving half his cloak to a poor man. They ordered 


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the lackeys not to unsaddle the horses, and to hold themselves in readi- 
ness to set off again immediately. 

They entered the common room and placed themselves at table. 
A gentleman, who had just arrived by the route of Dammartin, was 
seated at the same table, and was taking his breakfast He opened the 
conversation by talking of rain and fine weather ; the travellers replied, 
he drank to their good health, and the travellers returned his polite- 

But at the moment Mousqueton came to announce that the horses 
were ready, and they were rising from table, the stranger proposed to 
Porthos to drink the health of the cardinal. Porthos replied that he 
asked no better, if the stranger in his turn, would drink the health of 
the king. The stranger cried that he acknowledged no other king but 
his eminence. Porthos told him he was drunk, and the stranger drew 
his sword. 

" You have committed a piece of folly," said Athos, " but it can't be 
helped ; there is no drawing back ; kill the fellow, and rejoin us as 
soon as you can." 

And all three mounted their horses, and set out at a good pace, 
whilst Porthos was promising his adversary to perforate him with all 
the thrusts known in the fencing schools. 

" There goes one !" cried Athos, at the end of five hundred paces. 

"But why did that man attack Porthos, rather than any other of us?" 
asked Aramis. 

" Because Porthos talking louder than the rest, he took him for the 
leader of the party." said D'Artagnan. 

" I always said that this cadet from Gascony was a well of wisdom," 
murmured Athos. 

And the travellers continued their route. 

At Beauvais they stopped two hours, as well to breathe their horses 
a little, as to wait tor Porthos. At the end of the two hours, as Porthos 
did not come, and as they heard no news of him, they resumed their 

At a league from Beauvais, where the road was confined between two 
high banks, they fell in with eight or ten men who, taking advantage 
of the road being unpaved in this spot, appeared to be employed in 
digging holes and filling up the ruts with mud. 

Aramis, not liking to soil his boots with this artificial mortar, apos- 
trophized them rather sharply. Athos wished to restrain him, but it 
was too late. The labourers began to jeer the travellers, and by their 
insolence disturbed the equanimity even of the cool Athos, who urged 
on his horse against one of them. 

The men all immediately drew back to the ditch, from which each 
took a concealed musket ; the result was that our seven travellers were 
outnumbered in weapons. Aramis received a ball, which passed through 
his shoulder, and Mousqueton another ball which lodged in the fleshy 
part which prolongs the lower portion of the loins. Mousqueton 
alone fell from his horse, not because he was severely wounded, but 


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THEjOUkNEY. i$3 

from not being able to see the wound, he judged it to be more serious 
than it really was. 

" It is an ambuscade !" shouted D'Artagnan, " don't waste a charge ! 
forward !" 

Aramis, wounded as he was, seized the mane of his horse, which 
carried him on with the others. Mousqueton's horse rejoined them, 
and galloped by the side of his companions. 
" That will serve us for a relay," said Athos. 

" I would rather have had a hat," said D'Artagnan, "mine was carried 
away by a ball. By my faith, it is very fortunate that the letter was not 
in it" 

"Well, but they'll kill poor Porthos, when he comes up," said 

" If Porthos were on his legs, he would have rejoined us by this 
time," said Athos, " my opinion is that when they came to the point, 
the drunken man proved to be sober enough." 

They continued at their best speed for two hours, although the horses 
were so fatigued, that it was to be feared they would soon decline the 

The travellers had chosen cross-roads, in the hope that they might 
meet with less interruption ; but at Crevecoeur, Aramis declared he 
could proceed no farther. In fact, it required all the courage which he 
concealed beneath his elegant form and polished manners to bear him 
so far. He every minute grew more pale, and they were obliged to 
support him on his horse. They lifted him off, at the door of a cabaret, 
left Bazin with him, who besides, in a skirmish, was more embarrassing 
than useful, and set forward again in the hope of sleeping at Amiens. 

" Morbleu !" said Athos, as soon as they were again in motion, 
" reduced to two masters and Grimaud and Planchet ! Morbleu ! I 
won't be their dupe, I will answer for it ; I will neither open my mouth 

nor draw my sword between this and Calais. I swear by " 

"Don't waste time in swearing," said D' Art agnan, "let us gallop, if 
our horses will consent to it." 

And the travellers buried their rowels in their horses' flanks, who, 
thus vigorously stimulated, recovered their energies. They arrived at 
Amiens at midnight, and alighted at the auberge of the Lis d'Or. 

The host had the appearance of as honest a man as any on earth ; he 
received the travellers with his candlestick in one hand and his cotton 
night-cap in the other ; he wished to lodge the two travellers each in a 
charming chamber, but, unfortunately, these charming chambers were 
at the opposite extremities of the hotel, and D'Artagnan and Athos de- 
clined them. The host replied that he had no other worthy of their 
excellencies ; but his guests declared they would sleep in the common 
chamber, each upon a mattress, which might be thrown upon the 
ground. The host insisted, but the travellers were firm, and he was 
obliged to comply with their wishes. 

They had just prepared their beds and barricaded their door within, 
when some one knocked at the yard-shutter ; they demanded who was 


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there, and, upon recognising the voices of their lackeys, opened the 

In fact, it was Planchet and Grimaud. 

w Grimaud can take care of the horses," said Planchet ; u if you are 
willing, gentlemen, I will sleep across your doorway, and you will then 
be certain that nobody can come to you." 

,{ And what will you sleep upon ?" said D'Artagnan. 

" Here is my bed," replied Planchet, producing a bundle of straw. 

" Come, then," said D'Artagnan, " you are right, mine host's face 
does not please me at all, it is too civil by half." 

" Nor me neither," said Athos. 

Planchet got up through the window, and installed himself across 
the doorway, whilst Grimaud went and shut himself up in the stable, 
undertaking that, by five o'clock in the morning, he and the four horses 
should be ready. 

The night passed off quietly enough, it is true ; till about two o'clock 
in the morning, when somebody endeavoured to open the door, but as 
Planchet awoke in an instant, and cried, "Who is there?" this same 
somebody replied he was mistaken, and went away. 

At four o'clock in the morning, there was a terrible riot in the stables. 
Grimaud had tried to waken the stable-boys, and the stable-boys had 
set upon him and beaten him. When they opened the window they 
saw the poor lad lying senseless, with his head split by a blow with a 

Planchet went down into the yard, and proceeded to saddle the 
horses. But the horses were all knocked up. Mousqueton's horse, 
which had travelled for five or six hours without a rider the 
day before, alone might* have been able to pursue the journey ; but, 
by an inconceivable error, a veterinary surgeon, who had been sent 
for, as it appeared, to bleed one of the host's horses, had bled Mous- 

This began to be annoying. All these successive accidents were, per- 
haps, the result of chance ; but they might, quite as probably, be the 
fruits of a plot. Athos and D'Artagnan went out, whilst Planchet was 
sent to inquire if there were not three horses to be sold in the neigh- 
bourhood. At the door stood two horses, fresh, strong, and fully 
equipped. These would just have suited them. He asked where the 
masters of them were, and was informed that they had passed the night 
in the auberge, and were then settling with the master. 

Athos went down to pay the reckoning, whilst D'Artagnan and Planchet 
stood at the street-door. The host was in a lower and back chamber, to 
which Athos was requested to go. 

Athos entered without the least mistrust, and took out two pistoles to 
pay the bill. The host was alone, seated before his desk, one of the 
drawers of which was partly open. He took the money which Athos 
offered to him, and, after turning and turning it over and over in his 
hands, suddenly cried out that it was bad, and that he would have him 
and his companions arrested as coiners. 


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w You scoundrel !" cried Athos, stepping towards him, " I'll cut your 
ears off!" 

But the host stooped, took two pistols from the half-open drawer, 
pointed them at Athos, and called out for help. 

At the same instant, four men, armed to the teeth, entered by lateral 
doors, and rushed upon Athos. 

"lam taken !" shouted Athos, with all the power of his lungs ; " Go 
on, D'Artagnan ! spur, spur !" and he fired two pistols. 

D'Artagnan and Planchet did not require twice bidding : they un- 
fastened the two horses that were waiting at the door, leaped upon 
them, buried their spurs in their sides, and set off at full gallop. 

" Do you know what has become of Athos ?" asked D'Artagnan of 
Planchet, as they galloped on. 

" Ah, monsieur," said Planchet, " I saw one fall at each of his shots, 
and he appeared to me, through the glass door, to be fighting with his 
sword with the others." 

" Brave Athos !" murmured D'Artagnan ; " and to think that we are> 
compelled to leave him, whilst the same fate awaits us, perhaps, two 
paces hence ! Forward, Planchet, forward ! you are a brave fellow !" 

" Did not I tell you, monsieur," replied Planchet, " that we Picards 
are found out by being used ? Besides, I am in my own country here, 
and that puts me on my mettle !" 

And both, with free use of the spur, arrived at St. Omer without 
drawing bit At St Omer they breathed their horses with their bridles 
passed under their arms, for fear -of accident, and ate a morsel in their 
nands, standing in the road, after which they departed again. 

At a hundred paces from the gates of Calais, D'Artagnan's horse sank 
under him, and could not by any means be got up again, the blood flow- 
ing from both his eyes and his nose. There still remained Planchet s 
horse, but, after he stopped, he remained quite still, and could not be 
urged to move a step. 

Fortunately, as we have said, they were within a hundred paces of the 
city ; they left their two nags upon the high road, and ran towards the 
port Planchet called his master's attention to a gentleman who had 
just arrived with his lackey, and preceded them by about fifty paces. 

They made all speed to come up to this gentleman, who appeared to 
be in great haste. His boots were covered with dust, and he inquired if 
he could not instantly cross over to England. 

"Nothing would be more easy," said the captain of a vessel read)- to 
set sail ; " but this morning an order arrived that no one should be 
allowed to cross without express permission from the cardinal." 

" I have that permission," said the gentleman, drawing a paper from 
his pocket ; " here it is." 

" Have it examined by the governor of the port," said the captain, 
" and give me the preference." 

" Where shall I find the governor ?'' 

" At his country-house." 

" Where is that situated ?" ; 


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" At a quarter of a league from the city. Look, you may see it from 
here— at tne foot of that little hill, that slated roof. ,, 

" Very well," said the gentleman. 

And, with his lackey, he took the road to the governor's country- 

D'Artagnan and Planchet followed the gentleman at a distance not 
to be noticed ; but when he was out of the city, D'Artagnan quickly 
came up with him, iust as he was entering a little wood. 

" Monsieur," said D'Artagnan, " you appear to be in great haste ?" 

"No one can be more so, monsieur." 

"lam sorry for that," said D'Artagnan ; " for, as I am in great haste 
likewise, I wished to beg you to render me a service." 

" What service ?" 

"To let me go first." 

" That's impossible," said the gentleman ; " I have travelled sixty 
leagues in forty-four hours, and by to-morrow, at mid-day, I must be in 

" I have performed the same distance in forty hours, and by to- 
morrow, at ten o'clock in the morning, I must be in London." 

" Very sorry, monsieur ; but I was here first, and will not go second." 

" I am sorry too, monsieur ; but I arrived second, and will go first" 

" The king's service !" said the gentleman. 

" My own service !" said D'Artagnan. 

" But this is a needless quarrel you are fastening upon me, as I think." 

" Parbleu ! what do you desire it to be ?" 

"What do you want?" 

" Would you like to know ?" 

" Certainly." 

" Well, then, I want that order of which you are the bearer, seeing 
that I have not one of my own, and must have one." 

" You are joking, I presume." 

" I seldom joke." 

" Let me pass !" 

" You shall not pass." 

" My brave young man, I will blow out your brains. Hola, Lubin ! 
my pistols !" 

" Planchet," called out D'Artagnan, " take care of the lackey ; I will 
manage the master." 

Planchet, emboldened by the first exploit, sprang upon Lubin, and, 
being strong and vigorous, he soon got him on the broad of his back, 
and placed his knee upon his breast. 

" Go on with your affair, monsieur," cried Planchet ; " I have finished 

Seeing this, the gentleman drew his sword, and sprang upon D'Ar- 
tagnan ; but he had more than he expected to deal with. 

In three seconds, D'Artagnan had wounded him three times, exclaim- 
ing at each thrust : 

" One for Athos ! one for Porthos ! and one for Aramis !" 


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At the third hit the gentleman fell heavily to the ground 

D'Artagnan believea him to be dead, or at least insensible, and went 
towards him for the purpose of taking the order ; but at the moment 
he stretched out his hand to search for it, the wounded man, who had 
not dropped his sword, plunged the point into his breast, crying : 

" And one for you !" 

" And one for me ! the best for the last !" cried D'Artagnan, in 
a rage, nailing him to the earth with a fourth thrust through his 

This time the gentleman closed his eyes and fainted. D'Artagnan 
searched his pockets, and took from one of them the order for the pas- 
sage. It was in the name of the Count de Wardes. 

Then, casting a glance on the handsome young man, who waS 
scarcely twenty-five years of age, and whom he was leaving in his gore, 
deprived of sense, and perhaps dead, he gave a sigh to that unaccount- 
able destiny which leads men to destroy each other for the interests of 
people who are strangers to them, and who often do not even know they 

But he was soon roused from these reflections by Lubin, who uttered 
loud cries, and screamed for help with all his might. 

Planchet grasped him by the throat, and pressed as hard as he could. 

" Monsieur," said he, " as long as I hold him in this manner* he 
can't cry, 111 be bound ; but as soon as I leave go, he will howl again 
as loud as ever. I have found out that he's a Norman, and Normans 
are all obstinate." 

In fact, tightly held as he was, Lubin endeavoured still to get out 
a cry. 

" Stay !" said D'Artagnan, and, taking out his handkerchief, he 
gagged him. 

" Now," said Planchet, " let us bind him to a tree." 

This being properly done, they drew the Count de Wardes close to 
his servant ; and as night was approaching, and as the wounded man 
and the bound man were at some little distance within the wood, it was 
evident they were likely to remain there till the next day. 

"And now," said D'Artagnan, "to the governor's house." 

" But you appear to me to be wounded," said Planchet. 

"Oh, that's nothing ! Let us despatch that which is most pressing 
first, and we will attend to my wound afterwards ; besides, I don't 
think it seems a very dangerous one." 

And they both set forward as fast as they could towards the country- 
house of the worthy functionary. 

The Count de Wardes was announced, and D'Artagnan was intro- 

" You have an order, signed by the cardinal T 

" Yes, monsieur," replied D'Artagnan ; " here it is." 

" Ah, ah ! it is quite regular and explicit," said the governor. 

" Most likely," said D'Artagnan ; " I am one of his most faithful 


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" It appears that his eminence is anxious to prevent some one from 
crossing to England ?" 

" Yes ; a certain D'Artagnan, a Be'arnese gentleman, who left Paris 
in company of three of his friends, with the intention of going to 

" Do you know him personally ?" asked the governor. 


" This D'Artagnan." 

" Oh, yes, perfectly well." 

" Describe him to me, then." 

" Nothing more easy." 

And D'Artagnan gave, feature for feature, and in every way, the 
most minute description of the Count de Wardes. 

" Is he accompanied by any one T 

" Yes, by a lackey, named Lubin." 

' We will keep a sharp look out for them ; and if we lay hands upon 
them, his eminence may be assured they shall be reconducted to Paris 
under a good escort." 

"And by doing so, monsieur the governor," said D , Artagnan, "you 
will have merited well of the cardinaL" 

" Shall you see him on your return ?" 

" Doubtless I shall." 

" Tell him, I beg you, that I am his humble servant" 

" I will not fail." 

And, delighted with this assurance, the governor signed the passport, 
and delivered it to D'Artagnan, who lost no time in useless compli- 
ments, but thanked the governor, bowed, and departed. 

When once out, he and Planchet set off as fast as they could, and, 
by making a detour, avoided the wood, and re-entered the city by 
another gate. 

The vessel was quite ready to sail, and the captain waiting in the port. 

" Well ?" said he, on perceiving D'Artagnan. 

" Here is my pass, examined," said the latter. 

" And that other gentleman ?" 

" He will not go to-day," said D'Artagnan ; " but here, 111 pay you 
for us two." 

"In that case we will be gone," said the captain. 

" Yes, as soon as you please," replied D'Artagnan. 

He leaped, with Planchet, into the boat, and five minutes after they 
were on board. And it was time ; for they had scarcely sailed half a 
league, when D'Artagnan saw a flash and heard a detonation — it was 
the cannon which announced the closing of the port. 

He had now leisure to look to his wound. Fortunately, as D'Artagnan 
had thought, it was not dangerous : the point of the sword had met 
with a rib, and glanced along the bone ; still further, his shirt had 
stuck to the wound, and he had lost but very little blood. 

D'Artagnan was worn out with fatigue. A mattress was laid upon 
the deck for him ; he threw himself upon it, and fell fast asleep. 


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x - THE JOURNEY. 159 

At break, of day they were still three or four leagues from the coast 
of England : the breeze had been so light during the night, they had 
made but little way. 

At ten o'clock the vessel cast anchor in the port of Dover, and at 
half-past ten D'Artagnan placed his foot on English land, crying : 

" Here I am at last !" 

But that was not all, they had to get to London. In England the 
post was well served ; D'Artagnan and Planchet took post-horses with 
a postilion, who rode before them ; and in a few hours were in the 

D'Artagnan did not know London, he was not acquainted with one 
word of English : but he wrote the name of Buckingham on a piece of 
paper, and every one to whom he showed it pointed out to him the way 
to the duke's hotel. 

The duke was at Windsor hunting with the king. 

D'Artagnan inquired for the confidential valet of the duke, who having 
accompanied him in all his voyages, spoke French perfectly well ; he 
told him that he came from Paris, on an affair of life and death, and 
that he must speak with his master instantly. 

The confidence with which D'Artagnan spoke convinced Patrick, 
which was the name of this minister ; he ordered two horses to be 
saddled, and himself went as guide to the young guardsman. As for 
Planchet, he had been lifted from his horse as stiff as a rush ; the poor 
lad's strength was almost exhausted. D'Artagnan seemed to be made 
of iron. 

On their arrival at the castle they inquired for the duke, and learned 
that he was hawking with the king in the marshes, at some distance. 

They were quickly on the spot named, and Patrick almost at the 
moment caught the sound of his master's voice, recalling his falcon. 

" Whom must I announce to my lord duke ?" asked Patrick. 

" The young man who one evening sought a quarrel with him on the 
Pont Neuf, opposite the SatnaritaineP 

" Rather a singular introduction ?" 

" You will find that it is as good as another." 

Patrick galloped off, reached the duke, and announced to him, in the 
terms directed, that a messenger awaited him. 

Buckingham at once remembered the circumstance, and suspecting 
that something was going on in France, of which it was necessary he 
should be informed, he only took the time to inquire where the mes- 
senger was, and recognising the uniform of the guards, he put his horse 
into a gallop, and rode straight up to D'Artagnan ; Patriae, discreetly, 
keeping in the back ground. 

" No misfortune has happened to the queen ?" cried Buckingham, the 
instant he came up, throwing all his fear and love into the question. 

" I believe not ; nevertheless, I believe she is in some great peril from 
which your grace alone can extricate her." 

" I !" cried Buckingham. " What is it ? I should be but too happy 
to render her any service ! Speak ! speak !" 


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" Take this letter," said D'Artagnan. 

" This letter ! from whom does this letter come ?" 

" From her majesty, as I think." 

" From her majesty !" said Buckingham, becoming so pale that 
D'Artagnan feared he would faint, — and he broke the seaL 

" What is this rent !" said he, snowing D'Artagnan a place where it 
had been pierced through. 

" Ah ! ah ?" said D'Artagnan, " I did not see that ; it was the sword 
of the Count de Wardes that made that hole when he ran it into my 

" Are you wounded ?" asked Buckingham, as he opened the letter. 

" Oh ! nothing ! milord, only a scratch," said D'Artagnan. 

" Just Heavens ! what have I read !" cried the duke. " Patrick, re- 
main here, or rather join the king, wherever he may be, and tell his 
majesty that I hereby beg him to excuse me, but an affair of the greatest 
importance calls me to London. Come, monsieur, come !" — and both 
set off towards the capital at full gallop. 



As they rode along, the duke endeavoured to draw from D'Artagnan, 
not what had passed, but what D'Artagnan himself knew. By adding 
all that he heard from the mouth of the young man to his own remem- 
brances, he was enabled to form a pretty exact idea of a position of the 
seriousness of which, in addition, the queen's letter, however short and 
explicit, rendered him auite aware. But that which astonished him 
most was, that the cardinal, so deeply interested in preventing this 
young man from setting his foot on the soil of England, had not suc- 
ceeded in arresting him on the road. It was then, and upon the mani- 
festation of this astonishment, that D'Artagnan related to him the 
precaution taken, and how, thanks to his three friends, whom he had left 
scattered on the road, he had succeeded in coming off with a single 
sword-thrust, which had pierced the queen's letter, and for which he had 
repaid M. de Wardes in such terrible coin. Whilst he was listening 
to this account, which was delivered with the greatest simplicity, the 
duke looked from time to time at the young man with astonishment, 
as if he could not comprehend how so much prudence, courage, and 
devotedness were allied with a countenance evidently not more than 
twenty years of age. 

The horses went like the wind, and in an incredibly short time they 
were in London. D'Artagnan imagined that on arriving in the city the 
duke would slacken his pace, but it was not so : he kept on his way, 
heedless of whom he rode against In fact, in crossing the city, two or 
three accidents of this kind happened ; but Buckingham did not even 
turn his head to see what became of those he had knocked down. 


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D'Artagnan followed him amidst cries which very much resembled 

On entering the court of his hotel, Buckingham sprang from his horse 
and, without taking heed of the noble animal, threw the bridle on his 
neck, and sprang towards the vestibule. D'Artagnan did the same, 
with a little more concern, however, for the fine creatures, whose merits 
he fully appreciated ; but he had the satisfaction to see three or four 
grooms run from the stables, and take charge of them. 

The duke walked so fast that D'Artagnan had some trouble in keep- 
ing up with him. He passed through several apartments of an elegance 
of which even the greatest nobles of France had not even an idea, and 
arrived at length in a bed-chamber which was at once a miracle of 
taste and of splendour. In the alcove of this chamber was a door 
practised in the tapestry, which the duke opened with a small gold key, 
which he wore suspended from his neck by a chain of the same metal. 
From discretion, D'Artagnan remained behind ; but at the moment of 
Buckingham's passing through the door, he turned round, and seeing 
the hesitation of the young man, — 

" Come in ! come in !" cried he, " and if you have the good fortune 
to be admitted to her majesty's presence, tell her what you have 

Encouraged by this invitation, D'Artagnan followed the duke, who 
closed the door after them. 

He found himself with the duke in a small chapel covered with a 
tapestry of Persian silk worked with gold, and brilliantly lit with a vast 
number of wax lights. Over a species of altar, and beneath a canopy 
of blue velvet, surmounted by white and red plumes, was a full-length 
portrait of Anne of Austria, so perfect in its resemblance, that D'Artag- 
nan uttered a cry of surprise on beholding it : it might be believed that 
the queen was about to speak. 

Upon the altar, and beneath the portrait, was the casket containing 
the diamond studs. 

The duke approached the altar, fell on his knees as a priest might 
have done before a crucifix, and opened the casket. 

" There," said he, drawing from the casket a large bow of blue ribbon 
all sparkling with diamonds ; " here," said he, " are the precious studs 
which I have taken an oath should be buried with me. The queen 
gave them to me, the queen requires them back again ; her will be 
done, like that of God, in all things." 

Then he began to kiss, one after the other, those dear studs 
with which he was about to part.— All at once, he uttered a terrible 

" What is the matter ?" exclaimed D'Artagnan, anxiously, " what has 
happened to you, milord ?" 

1 All is lost ! all is lost !" cried Buckingham, turning as pale as death ; 

two of the studs are wanting ! there are but ten of them !" 

"Can you have lost them, milord, or do you think they have been 
stolen?" ■ J 


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"They have been stolen 1" replied the duke, "and it is the cardinal 
who has dealt me this blow. See, the ribbons which held them have 
been cut with scissors." 

" If milord suspects they have been stolen — perhaps the person who 
stole them still has them." 

" Let me reflect," said the duke — " The only time I wore these studs 
was at a ball given by the king a week ago at Windsor. The Countess 
de Winter, with whom I had had a quarrel, became reconciled to me 
at that ball. That reconciliation was nothing but the vengeance of a 
jealous woman. I have never seen her from that day. The woman is 
an agent of the cardinal's." 

" Why then, he has agents throughout the whole world !" cried 

" Yes, yes," said Buckingham, gnashing his teeth with rage, " he is a 
terrible antagonist ! — But when is this ball to take place ?" 

" On Monday next" 

" On Monday next ! Still fiv^ days before us ; that's more time than 
we want. Patrick !" cried the duke, opening the door of the chapel, 

His confidential valet, who had that moment returned, appeared at 
his call 

" My jeweller and my secretary." 

The valet de chambre went out with a mute promptitude that showed 
he was accustomed to obey implicitly and without reply. 

But although the jeweller had been mentioned first, it was the secre- 
tary that first made his appearance, simply because he lived in the 
hotel He found Buckingham seated at a table in his bed-chamber, 
writing orders with his own hand. 

" Master Jackson," said he, " go instantly to the lord chancellor and 
tell him that I desire him to execute these orders; I wish them to be 
promulgated immediately." 

"But, my lord, if the lord chancellor interrogates me upon the 
motives which may have led your grace to adopt such an extraordinary 
measure, what reply shall I make ?" 

" That such is my pleasure, and that I answer for my will to no man." 

"Will that be the answer," replied the secretary, smiling, "which he 
must transmit to his majesty, if, by chance, his majesty should have the 
curiosity to know why no vessel is to leave any of the ports of Great 
Britain r 

"You are right, Master Jackson," replied Buckingham. "He will 
say, in that case, to the king, that I am determined on war, and that 
this measure is my first act of hostility against France." 

The secretary bowed and retired. 

"We are safe on that side,*' said Buckingham, turning towards 
D'Artagnan. " If the studs are not yet gone to Paris, they will not 
arrive till after you." 

" How so, milord ?* 

" I have just placed an embargo on all vessels at present in his 


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majesty's ports, and, without particular permission, not one can lift an 

D'Artajjnan looked with stupefaction at a man who thus employed 
the unlimited power with whicn he was clothed by the confidence of a 
king, in the prosecution of his amours. Buckingham saw by the ex- 
pression of the young man's face what was passing in his mind, and he 

" Yes," said he, " yes, Anne of Austria is my true queen ; upon a word 
from her, I would betray my country, I would betray my king. I would 
betray my God. She asked me not to send the Protestants of La 
Rochelle the assistance I promised them : I have not done so. I broke 
my word, it is true ; but what signifies that ? I obeyed my love ; and 
have I not been richly paid for that obedience ? It was to that obedi- 
ence I owe her portrait !" 

D'Artagnan admired by what fragile and unknown threads the 
destinies of nations and the lives of men are sometimes suspended. 

He was lost in these reflections when the goldsmith entered. He 
was an Irishman, one of the most skilful of his craft, and who himself 
confessed that he gained a hundred thousand livres a year by the Duke 
of Buckingham. 

"Master O'Reilly," said the duke to him, leading him into the chapel, 
"look at these diamond studs, and tell me what they are worth 

The goldsmith cast a glance at the elegant manner in which they were 
set, calculated, one with another, what the diamonds were worth, and 
without hesitation : 

" Fifteen hundred pistoles each, my lord," replied he. 

" How many days would it require to make two studs exactly like 
them ? You see there are two wanting." 

" A week, my lord." 

" I will give you three thousand pistoles each for two, if I can have 
them by the day after to-morrow." 

"My lord, you shall have them." 

" You are a jewel of a man, Master O'Reilly ; but that is not all ; 
these studs cannot be trusted to anybody : it must be effected in the 

" Impossible, my lord ; there is no one but myself can execute them 
so that the new may not be distinguished from the old." 

" Therefore, my dear master O'Reilly, you are my prisoner ; and if 
you wish ever so to leave my palace, you cannot ; so make the best of 
it. Name to me such of your workmen as you stand in need of, and 
point out the tools they must bring." 

The goldsmith knew the duke ; he knew all observation would be 
useless, and instantly determined how to act. 

" May I be permitted to inform my wife ?" said he. 

" Oh ! you may even see her if you like, my dear master O'Reilly ; 
your captivity shall be mild, be assured ; and as every inconvenience 
deserves its indemnification, here is, in addition to the price of the studs, 

n— ? 


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an order for a thousand pistoles, to make you forget the annoyance I 
cause you." 

D'Artagnan could not get over the surprise created in him by this 
minister, who thus, open-handed, sported with men and millions. 

As to the goldsmith, he wrote to his wife, sending her the order for 
the thousand pistoles, and charging her to send him, in exchange, his 
most skilful apprentice, an assortment of diamonds, of which he gave 
the names and the weight, and the necessary tools. 

Buckingham led the goldsmith to the chamber destined for him, and 
which, at the end of half-an-hour, was transformed into a workshop. 
Then he placed a sentinel at each door, with an order to admit nobody, 
upon any pretence, but his valet-de-chambre, Patrick. We need not 
add that the goldsmith, O'Reilly, and his assistant, were prohibited 
from going out on any account. 

All this being regulated, the duke turned to D'Artagnan. 

" Now, my young friend," said he, " England is all our own. What 
do you wish for ? What do you desire ?" 

" A bed, milord," replied D'Artagnan. " At present, I confess, that is 
the thing I stand most in need o£" 

Buckingham assigned D'Artagnan a chamber adjoining his own. He 
wished to have the young man at hand, not that he at all mistrusted him, 
but for the sake of having some one to whom he could constantly talk 
about the queen. 

In one hour after, the ordinance was published in London that no 
vessel bound for France should leave the ports — not even the packet- 
boat with letters. In the eyes of everybody this was a declaration of 
war between the two kingdoms. 

On the day after the morrow, by eleven o'clock, the two diamond 
studs were finished, and they were so completely imitated, so perfectly 
alike, that Buckingham could not tell the new ones from the old ones, 
and the most practised in such matters would have been deceived as he 

He immediately called D'Artagnan. 

" Here," said he to him, " are the diamond studs that you came to 
fetch, and be my witness that I have done all that human power 
could do." 

" Be satisfied, milord ; I will tell all that I have seen. But does your 
grace mean to give me the studs without the casket ?" 

" The casket would only encumber you. Besides, the casket is the 
more precious from being all that is left to me. You will say that I 
keep it." 

" I will perform your commission, word for word, milord." 

" And now," resumed Buckingham, looking earnestly at the young 
man, " how shall I ever acquit myself of the debt I owe you ?" 

D'Artagnan coloured up to the eyes. He saw that the duke was 
searching for a means of making him accept something, and the idea 
that the blood of himself and his friends was about to be paid for with 
English gold was strangely repugnant to him. 


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" Let us understand each other, milord," replied D'Artagnan, " and 
let us make things clear, in order that there may be no mistake. I am 
in the service of the King and Queen of France, and form part of the 
company of M. des Essarts, who, as well as his brother-in-law, M. de 
Treville, is particularly attached to their majesties. What I have done, 
then, has been for the aueen, and not at all for your grace. And, still 
further, it is very probable I should not have done anything of this, if 
it had not been to make myself agreeable to some one who is my lady, 
as the queen is yours. " 

" I understand," said the duke, smiling, " and I even believe that I 
know that other person ; it is " 

" Milord ! I have not named her !" interrupted the young man, 

" That is true," said the duke, u and it is to this person I am bound 
to discharge my debt of gratitude." 

" You have said, milord ; for truly, at this moment, when there is 
question of war, I confess to you that I see nothing in your grace but 
an Englishman, and, consequently, an enemy, whom I should have 
much greater pleasure in meeting on the field of battle than in the park 
at Windsor or the chambers of the Louvre ; all which, however, will 
not prevent me from executing, to the very point, my commission, or 
from laying down my life, if there be need of it, to accomplish it ; but 
I repeat it to your grace, without your having personally on that account 
more to thank me for in this second interview, than for that which I 
did for you in the first" 

" We say, * proud as a Scotchman,' " murmured the Duke of Bucking- 

" And we say, ' proud as a Gascon,' " replied D'Artagnan ; " the Gas- 
cons are the Scots of France." 

D'Artagnan bowed to the duke, and was retiring. 

"Well ! you are going away in that manner? But where? and how?" 

" That's true !" 

" Fore Gad, these Frenchmen have no consideration !" 

" I had forgotten that England was an island, and that you were the 
king of it." 

" Go to the port, ask for the brig Sund, and give this letter to the 
captain ; he will convey you to a little port, where certainly you are not 
expected, and which is ordinarily only frequented by fishermen." 

" What is the name of that port ?* 

" Saint-Valery ; but listen. When you have arrived there, you will 
go to a mean auberge, without a name and without a sign, a mere fisher- 
man's hut. You cannot be mistaken, there is but one." 

"And then?" 

" You will ask for the host, and will repeat to him the word — For* 

" Which means ?" 

"In French, en avant ; that is the password. He will give you a 
ready-saddled horse, and will point out to you the road you are to take. 


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You will find, in this manner, four relays on your route. If you will 
give, at each of these relays, your address in Paris, the four horses will 
follow you thither. You already know two of them, and you appeared 
to appreciate them like a judge. They were those we rode on, and you 
may rely upon me for the others not being inferior to them. These 
horses are equipped for the field. However proud you may be, you will 
not refuse to accept one of them, and to request your three com- 
panions to accept the others : that is in order to make war against 
us, besides. The end excuses the means, as you Frenchmen say, does 
it not?" 

" Yes, milord, I accept them," said D'Artagnan, "and, if it please God, 
we will make a good use of your presents." 

" Well, now, your hand, young man ; perhaps we shall soon meet on 
the field of battle ; but, in the meantime, we shall part good friends, 
1 hope ?" 

" Yes, milord ; but with the hope of soon becoming enemies ?" 

" Be satisfied on that head ; I promise you." 

" I depend upon your parole, milord." 

D'Artagnan bowed to the duke, and made his way as quickly as 

Cossible to the port Opposite the Tower he found the vessel that had 
een named to him, delivered his letter to the captain, who, after 
having it examined by the governor of the port, made immediate pre- 
parations to sail. 

Fifty vessels were waiting to set out, in momentary expectation of 
the removal of the prohibition. When passing alongside of one of 
them, D'Artagnan fancied he perceived on board of it the lady of Meung, 
the same whom the unknown gentleman had styled milady, and whom 
D'Artagnan had thought so handsome ; but thanks to the tide of the 
river and a fair wind, his vessel passed so quickly that he had little 
more than a glimpse of her. 

The next day, about nine o'clock in the morning, he landed at St. 
Valcry. D'Artagnan went instantly in search of the auberge, and easily 
discovered it by the riotous noise which resounded from it : war between 
England and France was then confidently talked of, and the saflors were 
carousing in the hopes of it. 

D'Artagnan made his way through the crowd, advanced towards the 
host, and pronounced the word, " Forward J" The host instantly made 
him a sign to follow him, went out with him by a door which opened 
into a yard, led him to the stable, where a ready-saddled horse awaited 
him, and asked him if he stood in need of anything else. 

" I want to know the route I am to follow," said D'Artagnan. 

" Go from hence to Blangy, and from Blangy to Neufchatel. At 
Neufchatel, go to the auberge of the * Herse d'Or,' give the password 
to the host, and you will find, as you have done here, a horse ready- 

" Have I anything to pay ?" demanded D'Artagnan. 

" Everything is paid," replied the host, " and liberally. Begone then, 
and may God conduct you safely." 


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** Amen !" cried the young man, and set off at full gallop. 

In four hours from starting he was in NeufchiteL He strictly fol- 
lowed the instructions he had received ; at Neufchatel, as at St. Valery, 
he found a horse quite ready awaiting him ; he was about to removt 
the pistols from the saddle he had vacated to the one he was about to 
occupy, but he found the holsters furnished with similar pistols. 

" Your address at Paris ?" 

" Hotel of the Guards, company of Des Essarts." 

" Enough," replied the interrogator. 

"Which route must I take F demanded D'Artagnan, in his turn. 

" That of Rouen ; but you will leave the city on your right. You 
must stop at the little village of Eccuis, in which there is but one 
auberge, * PEcu de France. 1 Don't condemn it from appearances, you 
will find a horse in the stables quite as good as this. 

" The same password ?" 

" Exactly." 

" Adieu, master !" 

" A good journey, gentleman ! Do you want anything ?" 

D'Artagnan shook his head in reply, and set off at full speed. At 
Eccuis, the same scene was repeated ; he found as provident a host and 
a fresh horse. He left his address as he had done before, and set off 
again, at the same pace, for Pontoise. At Pontoise he changed his 
horse for the last time, and at nine o'clock galloped into the yard of 
M. de TreVille's hotel. He had performed nearly sixty leagues in little 
more than twelve hours. 

M. de TreVille received him as if he had seem him that same morning; 
only, when pressing his hand a little more warmly than usual, he in- 
formed him that the company of M. des Essarts was on duty at the 
Louvre, and that he might repair at once to his post. 


On the morrow, nothing was talked of in Paris but the ball which 
Messieurs the Echevins of the city were to give to the king and queen, 
and in which the king and queen were to dance the famous La Mer- 
laison, the king's favourite ballet. 

The whole of the last week had been occupied in preparations at the 
Hdtel de Ville for this important evening. The city carpenters had 
erected scaffolds upon which the ladies invited were to be placed ; the 
city grocer had ornamented the chambers with two hundred flambeaux 
of white wax, which was a piece of luxury unheard of at that period ; 
and twenty violins were ordered, and the price paid for them fixed at 
double the usual rate, upon condition, said the report, that they should 
be played all night. 

At ten o'clock in the morning, the Sieur de la Coste, ensign in the 
king's guards, followed by two exempts and several.archers of that body, 


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came to to the city greffier (registrar or secretary), named Clement, and 
demanded of him all the keys of the chambers and offices of the hotel. 
These keys were given up to him instantly ; and each of them had a 
ticket attached to it, by which it might be known, and from that mo- 
ment the Sieur de la Coste was charged with the guarding of all the 
doors and all the avenues. 

At eleven o'clock came in his turn Duhallier, captain of the guard, 
bringing with him fifty archers, who were distributed immediately, 
through the hotel, at the doors which had been assigned to them. 

At three o'clock, arrived two companies of the guards, one French, 
the other Swiss. The company of French guards was composed half 
of M. Duhallier's men, and half of M. des Essart's men. 

At nine o'clock, Madame la Premiere Presidente arrived. As, next 
to the queen, this was the most considerable personage of the fSte, she 
was received by the city gentlemen, and placed in a box opposite to 
that which the queen was to occupy. 

At ten o'clock, the king's collation, consisting of confitures and other 
delicacies, was prepared in the little chamber on the side of the church 
of St. Jean, in front of the silver buffet of the city, which was guarded 
by four archers. 

At midnight, great cries and loud acclamations were heard ; it was 
the king, who was passing through the streets which led from the 
Louvre to the H6tel de Ville, and which were all illuminated with 
coloured lamps. 

Immediately Messieurs the Echevins, clothed in their cloth robes, and 
preceded by six sergeants, holding each a flambeau in his hand, went 
to attend upon the king, whom they met on the steps, where the pro- 
vost of the merchants offered him the compliment of welcome ; a 
compliment to which his majesty replied by an apology for coming so 
late, but laying the blame upon M. the Cardinal, who had detained him 
till eleven o'clock, talking of affairs of state. 

His majesty, in full dress, was accompanied by his royal highness 
Monsieur the count de Soissons, the Grand Prior, the Duke de Longue- 
ville, the Duke d'Elboeuf, the Count d'Harcourt, the Count de la Roche- 
Guyon, M. de Liancourt, M. de Baradas, the Count de Cramail, and 
the Chevalier de Souveray. 

Everybody observed that the king looked dull and preoccupied. 

A closet had been prepared for the king and another for monsieur. 
In each of these closets were placed masquerade habits. The same 
had been done with respect to the queen and Madame la Presidente. 
The nobles and ladies of their majesties' suites were to dress, two by 
two, in chambers prepared for the purpose. 

Before entering his closet the king desired to be informed the 
moment the cardinal arrived. 

Half an hour after the entrance of the king, fresh acclamations were 
heard : these announced the arrival of the queen. The Echevins did as 
they had done before, and, preceded by their sergeants, went to receive 
their illustrious guest. 


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The queen entered the great hall ; and it was remarked, that, like the 
king, she looked dull, and moreover, fatigued. 

At the moment she entered, the curtain of a small gallery which to 
that time had been closed, was drawn, and the pale face of the cardinal 
appeared, he being dressed as a Spanish cavalier. His eyes were fixed 
upon those of the queen, and a smile of terrible joy passed over his lips: 
— the queen did not wear her diamond studs. 

The queen remained for a short time to receive the compliments of 
the city gentlemen and to reply to the salutations of the ladies. 

All at once the king appeared at one of the doors of the hall. The 
cardinal was speaking to him in a low voice, and the king was very 

The king made his way through the crowd without a mask, and the 
ribbons of his doublet scarcely tied ; he went straight to the queen, and 
in an altered voice, said : 

" Why, madame, have you not thought proper to wear your diamond 
studs, when you know it would have given me so much gratification ? ' 

The queen cast a glance around her, and saw the cardinal behind, 
with a diabolical smile on his countenance. 

" Sire," replied the queen, with a faltering voice, " because, in the 
midst of such a crowd as this, I feared some accident might happen to 

" And you were wrong, madame ! if I made you that present it was 
that you might adorn yourself with them. I tell you, again, you were 

And the voice of the king was tremulous with anger : the company 
looked and listened with astonishment, comprehending nothing of what 

" Sire," said the queen, " I can send for them to the Louvre, where 
they are, and thus your majesty's wishes will be complied with." 

" Do so, madame ! do so, and that at the quickest ; for within an 
hour the ballet will commence." 

The queen bent in token of submission, and followed the ladies who 
were to conduct her to her closet. On his part, the king returned to 

A moment of trouble and confusion ensued in the assembly. Every- 
body had remarked that something had passed between the king and 
queen, but both of them had spoken so low, that all out of respect 
had kept at a distance of several steps, so that nobody had heard any- 
thing. The violins began to sound with all their might, but nobody 
listened to them. 

The king came out first from his closet; he was in a hunting costume 
of the most elegant description, and monsieur and the other nobles 
were dressed as he was. This was the costume that became the king 
the best, and when thus dressed, he really appeared the first gentleman 
of his kingdom. 

The cardinal drew near to the king, and placed in his hand a small 
casket. The king opened it, and found in it two diamonds. 


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" What does this mean ?" demanded he of the cardinal. 

" Nothing," replied the latter ; " only, if the queen has the studs, of 
which I very much doubt, count them, sire, and if you only find 
ten, ask her majesty who can have stolen from her the two studs that 
are here." 

The king looked at the cardinal as if to interrogate him : but he had 
not time to address any question to him ; a cry of admiration burst 
from every mouth. If the king appeared to be the first gentleman of 
his kingdom, the queen was, without doubt, the most beautiful woman 
in France. 

It is true that the habit of a huntress became her admirably ; she 
wore a beaver hat with blue feathers, a surtout of grey-pearl velvet, 
fastened with diamond clasps, and a petticoat of blue satin, embroidered 
with silver. On her left shoulder sparkled the diamond studs upon a 
bow of the same colour as the plumes and the petticoat 

The king trembled with joy and the cardinal with vexation ; never- 
theless, distant as they were from the queen, they could not count 
the studs ; the queen had them ; the only question was, had she ten 
or twelve ? 

At that moment the violins sounded the signal for the ballet The 
king advanced towards Madame la Pre"sidente, with whom he was to 
dance, and his highness monsieur with the queen. They took their 
places, and the ballet began. 

The king figured opposite the queen, and every time that he passed 
by her, he devoured with his eyes those studs of which he could not as- 
certain the number. A cold sweat covered the brow of the cardinal. 

The ballet lasted an hour, and had sixteen entries. 

The ballet ended amidst the applauses of the whole assemblage, and 
every one reconducted his lady to her place ; but the king took advan- 
tage of the privilege he had of leaving his lady, to advance eagerly 
towards the queen. 

" I thank you, madame," said he, " for the deference you have shown 
to my wishes, but I think you want two of the studs, and I bring them 
back to you." 

At these words he held out to the queen the two studs the cardinal 
had given him. 

" How, sire !" cried the young queen, affecting surprise, " you are 
giving me then two more ; but then I shall have fourteen !" 

In fact, the king counted them, and the twelve studs were all on her 
majesty's shoulder. 

The king called the cardinal to him. 

" What does this mean, Monsieur the Cardinal ?" asked the king in 
a severe tone. 

" This means, sire,'' replied the cardinal, " that I was desirous of pre- 
senting her majesty with these two studs, and that not daring to offer 
them myself, I adopted these means of inducing her to accept them." 

" And I am the more grateful to your eminence," replied Anne of 
Austria, with a smile that proved she was not the dupe of this in- 


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genious piece of gallantry, " from being certain these two studs have 
cost you as dearly as all the others cost his majesty. n 

Then, after bowing to the king and the cardinal, the queen resumed 
her way to the chamber in which she had dressed, and where she was to 
take off her ball costume. 

The attention which we have been obliged to give, during the com- 
mencement of the chapter, to the illustrious personages we have intro- 
duced in it, has diverted us for an instant from him to whom Anne of 
Austria owed the extraordinary triumph she had obtained over the car- 
dinal ; and who, confounded, unknown, lost in the crowd gathered at 
one of the doors, looked on at this scene, comprehensible only to four 
persons, the king, the queen, his eminence, and himself. 

The queen had just regained her chamber, and D'Artagnan was about 
to retire, when he felt his shoulder lightly touched ; he turned round, 
and saw a young woman who made him a sign to follow her. The face 
of this young woman was covered with a black velvet mask, but, not- 
withstanding this precaution, which was, in fact, taken rather against 
others than against him, he at once recognised his usual guide, the 
light and intelligent Madame Bonacieux. 

On the evening before, they had scarcely seen each other for a mo- 
ment at the apartment of the Swiss Germain, whither D'Artagnan had 
sent for her. The haste which the young woman was in, to convey to 
her mistress the excellent news of the happy return of her messenger, 
prevented the two lovers from exchanging more than a few words. 
D'Artagnan then followed Madame Bonacieux, moved by a double 
sentiment, love and curiosity. During the whole of the way, and in pro- 
portion as the corridors became more deserted, D'Artagnan wished to 
stop the young woman, seize her, and gaze upon her, were it only for a 
minute ; but quick as a bird, she glided between his hands, and when 
he wished to speak to her, her finger placed upon her mouth, with a 
little imperative gesture full of grace, reminded him that he was under 
the command of a power which he must blindly obey, and which for- 
bade him even to make the slightest complaint ; at length, after wind- 
ing about for a minute or two, Madame Bonacieux opened the door of 
a closet, which was entirely dark, and led D'Artagnan into it. There 
she made a fresh sign of silence, and opening a second door concealed 
by a tapestry, and which opening spread at once a brilliant light, she 

D'Artagnan remained for a moment motionless, asking himself where 
he could be ; but soon a ray of light which penetrated through the 
chamber, together with the warm and perfumed air which reached him 
from the same aperture, the conversation of two or three ladies, in 
a language at once respectful and elegant, and the word "majesty" two 
or three times repeated, indicated clearly that he was in a closet 
attached to the queen's chamber. 

The young man waited the event quietly in comparative darkness. 

The queen appeared to be cheerful and happy, which seemed to asto- 
nish the persons who surrounded her, and who were accustomed to see 


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her almost always sad and full of care. The queen attributed this joyous 
feeling to the beauty of the fete, to the pleasure she had experienced 
in the ballet, and as it is not permissible to contradict a queen, whether 
she smile or whether she weep, all rivalled each other in expatiating 
upon the gallantry of messieurs the dchevins of the good city of 

Although D'Artagnan did not at all know the queen, he soon distin- 
guished her voice from the others, at first by a slightly foreign accent, 
and next by that tone of domination naturally impressed upon all 
sovereign expressions. He heard her approach, and withdraw from the 
partially open door, and twice or three times he even saw the shadow 
of a person intercept the light. 

At length a hand and an arm, surpassingly beautiful in their form and 
whiteness, glided through the tapestry. D'Artagnan, at once, compre- 
hended that this was his recompense : he cast himself on his knees, 
seized the hand, and touched it respectfully with his lips ; then the hand 
was withdrawn, leaving in his an object which he perceived to be a ring ; 
the door immediately closed, and D'Artagnan found himself again in 
complete darkness. 

D'Artagnan placed the ring on his finger, and again waited : it was 
evident that all was not yet over. After the reward of his devotion that 
of his love was to come. Besides, although the ballet was danced, the 
evening's pleasures had scarcely begun : supper was to be served at 
three, and the clock of St Jean had struck three-quarters past two. 

The sound of voices diminished by degrees in the adjoining chamber ; 
the company was then heard departing ; then the door of the closet 
in which D'Artagnan was, was opened, and Madame Bonacieux entered 

" You at last ?" cried D'Artagnan. 

" Silence !" said the young woman, placing her hand upon his lips ; 
" Silence ! and begone the same way you came !" 

" But where and when shall I see you again ?" cried D'Artagnan. 

" A note which you will find at home will tell you. Begone ! 
begone !" 

And at these words she opened the door of the corridor, and pushed 
D'Artagnan out of the closet. D'Artagnan obeyed like a child, with- 
out the least resistance or objection, which proved that he was down- 
right really in love. 



D'Artagnan ran home immediately, and although it was rtirde o'clock 
in the morning, and he had some of the worst reputed quarters of Paris 
to pass through, he met with no misadventure. [Every one knows that 
drunkards and lovers have a protecting deity. 

He found the door of his passage open, sprang up the stairs, and 
knocked softly, in a manner agreed upon between him and his lackey. 


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Planchet,* whom he had sent home two hours before from the H6tel de 
Ville, desiring him to be careful and sit up for him, opened the door 
to him. 

" Has any one brought a letter for me T asked D'Artagnan eagerly. 

"No one has brought a letter, monsieur," replied Planchet ; " but 
there is one come of itself." 

" What do you mean by that, you stupid fellow ?" 

" I mean to say that when I came in, although I had the key of your 
apartment in my pocket, and that key had never been out of my 
possession, I found a letter upon the green table-cover in your bed- 
chamber. " 

" And where is that letter 7* 

" I left it where 1 found it, monsieur. It is not natural for letters to 
enter in this manner into people's houses. If the window had been 
open, even in the smallest way, I should think nothing of it ; but, no ; 
all was as close as possible. Beware, monsieur, there is certainly some 
magic in it" 

Whilst Planchet was saying this, the young man had darted into his 
chamber, and seized and opened the letter ; it was from Madame Bona- 
cieux, and was conceived in these terms : 

" There are many thanks to be offered to you, and to be transmitted 
to you. Be this evening about ten o'clock, at St. Cloud, in front of the 
pavilion built at the corner of the hotel of M. d'Estre*es. — C. B." 

Whilst reading this letter, D'Artagnan felt his heart dilated and com- 
pressed by that delicious spasm which tortures and caresses the hearts 
of lovers. 

It was the first billet he had received, it was the first rendezvous that 
had ever been granted him. His heart, swelled by the intoxication of 
joy, felt ready to dissolve away at the very gate of that terrestrial para- 
dise called Love ! 

"Well, monsieur," said Planchet, who had observed his master grow 
red and pale successively : " did I not guess truly ? is it not some bad 
business or other ?" 

" You are mistaken, Planchet," replied D'Artagnan ; " and, as a proof, 
there is a crown to drink my health." 

" I am much obliged to monsieur, for the crown he has given me, 
and I promise him I will obey his instructions exactly ; but it is not 
the less true that letters which come in this manner into shut-tip houses — ,; 

" Fall from heaven, my friend, fall from heaven." 

" Then monsieur is satisfied ?" asked Planchet. 

"My dear Planchet, I am the happiest of men !" 

" And I may profit by monsieur's happiness, and may go to bed ?" 

"Yes, go." 

" May the blessings of heaven fall upon monsieur ; but it is not the 
less true that that letter " 

• There is no doubt the reader will ask, as the Translator does, " How came Planchet 
here?" We left him " stiff as a rush " from fatigue, being carried to bed in London. M. 
Dumas'* errors from haste are very numerous ; I only say this, that they may not be laid at 
the door of the wrong party.— Trans. 


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And Planchet retired, shaking his head with an air of doubt, which 
the liberality of D'Artagnan had not entirely removed. 

Left alone, D'Artagnan read and re-read his billet, then he kissed 
and re-kissed twenty times the lines traced by the hand of his beautiful 
mistress. At length he went to bed, fell asleep, and had golden dreams. 

At seven o'clock in the morning he arose and called Planchet, who, 
at the second summons, opened the door, his countenance not yet quite 
free from the anxiety of the preceding night. 

" Planchet," said D'Artagnan, "lam going out for all day, perhaps ; 
you are, therefore, your own master till seven o'clock in the evening ; 
but at seven o'clock you must hold yourself in readiness with two 

"There !" said Planchet, " we are going again, it appears, to have our 
skins pierced through, and rubbed off in all directions !" 

" You will take your musketoon and your pistols." 

" There now ! did I not say so ?" cried Planchet " I was sure of it ; 
that cursed letter." 

" Come, don't be afraid ! you silly fellow ; there is nothing in hand 
but a party of pleasure." 

"An ! like the charming journey the other day, when it rained 
billets, and produced a crop of steel-traps !" 

" Well, if you are really afraid, Monsieur Planchet," resumed D'Ar- 
tagnan, " I will go without you ; I prefer travelling alone to having a 
companion who entertains the least fear." 

" Monsieur does me wrong," said Planchet ; " I thought he had seen 
me at work." 

" Yes, but I did not know whether you had not worn out all your 
courage the first time." 

"Monsieur shall see, upon occasion, that I have some left ; only I beg 
monsieur not to be too prodigal of it, if he wishes it to last long." 

" Do you believe you have still a certain amount of it to expend this 
evening V 

" I hope I have, monsieur/ 

" Well, then, I depend upon you." 

" At the appointed hour I shall be ready ; only I believed that mon- 
sieur had but one horse in the guard stables." 

" Perhaps there is but one at this moment ; but by this evening there 
will be four." 

"It appears that our journey was a remounting journey then ?" 

" Exactly so," said D'Artagnan ; and nodding to Planchet, he went out. 

M. Bonacieux was standing at his door. D'Artagnan's intention was 
to go out without speaking to the worthy mercer ; but the latter made 
so polite and friendly a salutation, that his tenant felt obliged, not only 
to stop, but to enter into conversation with him. 

Besides, how is it possible to avoid a little condescension towards a 
husband, whose pretty wife has appointed a meeting with you that same 
evening at St. Cloud, opposite the pavilion of M. d'Estrees ? D'Ar- 
tagnan approached him with the most amiable air he could assume. 


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The conversation naturally fell upon the incarceration of the poor 
man. M. Bonacieux, who was ignorant that D'Artagnan had overheard 
his conversation with the unknown of Meung, related to his young tenant 
the persecutions of that monster, M. de Laffemas, whom he never 
ceased to qualify, during his account, with the title of the cardinal's 
executioner, and expatiated at great length upon the Bastille, the bolts, 
the wickets, the dungeons, the loop-holes, the gratings, and the instru- 
ments of torture. 

D'Artagnan listened to him with exemplary complaisance, and when 
he had finished said : 

" And Madame Bonacieux, do you know who carried her off? for I 
do not forget that I owe to that unpleasant circumstance the good for- 
tune of having made your acquaintance. " 

"Ah !" said Bonacieux, " they took good care not to tell me that, and 
my wife, on her part, has sworn to me by all that's sacred, that she does 
not know. But you," continued M. Bonacieux, in a tone of perfect 
bonhomie, " what has become of you for several days past ? I have not 
seen either you or any of your friends, and I don't think you could pick 
up all that dust on the pavement of Paris that I saw Planchet brush off 
your boots yesterday." 

" You are right, my dear M. Bonacieux, my friends and I have been 
on a little journey." 

" Far from Paris ?" 

" Oh lord, no ! about forty leagues only. We went to take M. Athos 
to the waters of Forges, where my friends have remained." 

" And you have returned, have you not ?" replied M. Bonacieux, 
giving to his countenance the most jocular air. "A handsome young 
fellow like you does not obtain long leaves of absence from his mistress ; 
and we were impatiently waited for at Paris, were we not ?" 

" MafoiP* said the young man, laughing, " I am fain to confess it, and 
so much the more readily, my dear Bonacieux, as I see there is no con- 
cealing anything from you. Yes, I was expected, and impatiently, I 
assure you." 

A slight shade passed over the brow of Bonacieux, but so slight 
that D'Artagnan did not perceive it. 

" And we are going to be recompensed for our diligence ?" said Bona- 
cieux, with a trifling alteration in his voice — so trifling, indeed, that 
D'Artagnan did not perceive it any more than he had the shade which, 
an instant before, had darkened the countenance of the worthy man. 

" Ah, I hope you are a true prophet !" said D'Artagnan, laughing. 

" No ; that which I say is only that I may know whether you will be 

" Why do you ask me that question, my dear host ? Do you intend 
to sit up for me ?" 

" No ; only since my arrest and the robbery that was committed in 
my house, I am alarmed every time I hear a door opened, particularly 
in the night. What the deuce can you expect ? I told you I was no 
man of the sword." 


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" Well, don't be alarmed if I come home at one, two, or three o'clock 
in the morning ; indeed, do not be alarmed if I do not come at all." 

This time Bonacieux became so pale that D'Artagnan could not do 
otherwise than perceive it, and asked him what was the matter ? 

" Nothing," replied Bonacieux, " nothing ; only since my misfortunes 
1 have been subject to faintnesses, which seize me all at once, and I have 
just felt a cold shiver. Pay no attention to it ; you have nothing to 
occupy yourself with but being happy." 

" Then I have full occupation, for I am so." 

" Not yet — wait a little ; this evening, you said." 

" Well, this evening will come, thank God ! And perhaps you look 
for it with as much impatience as I do ; perhaps this evening Madame 
Bonacieux will visit the conjugal domicile. " 

" Madame Bonacieux is not at liberty this evening," replied the hus- 
band seriously ; " she is detained at the Louvre this evening by her 

" So much the worse for you, my dear host, so much the worse for 
you ! When I am happy, I wish all the world to be so ; but it appears 
that is not possible." 

And the young man departed, laughing at the joke, which he thought 
he alone could comprehend. 

" Ah, have your laugh out !" replied Bonacieux, in a sepulchral tone. 

But D'Artagnan was too far off to hear him, and if he had heard him, 
in the disposition of mind he then enjoyed, he, certes, would not have 
remarked it. 

He took his way towards the hotel of M. de TreVille : his visit of the 
day before had been very short and very little explicative. 

He found M. de TreVille in the joy of his heart. He had thought the 
king and queen charming at the ball. It is true the cardinal had been 
particularly ill-tempered ; he had retired at one o'clock under the pre- 
tence of being indisposed. As to their majesties, they did not return to 
the Louvre till six o'clock. 

" Now," said M. de TreVille, lowering his voice, and looking round 
to every corner of the apartment to see if they were alone, " now let us 
talk about you, my young friend ; for it is evident that your fortunate 
return has something to do with the joy of the king, the triumph of the 
queen, and the humiliation of the cardinal. You must take care of 

u What have I to fear," replied D'Artagnan, " as long as I shall have 
the good fortune to enjoy the favour of their majesties ?" 

" Everything, believe me. The cardinal is not the man to forget a 
mystification until he has settled his accounts with the mystifier ; and 
the mystifier appears to me to have the air of being a certain young 
Gascon of my acquaintance." 

" Do you believe that the cardinal knows as much as you do, and 
knows that I have been to London ?" 

" The devil ! you said London ! Was it from London you brought 
that beautiful diamond that glitters on your finger ? Beware, my dear 


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THE RZMD&2V0VS. i;y 

D'Artagnan ! a present from an enemy is not a good thing. Are there 
not some Latin verses upon that subject ? Stop !" 

" Yes, doubtless," replied D'Artagnan, who had never been able to 
cram the first rudiments even of that language into his head, and who 
had by his ignorance driven his master to despair — "yes, doubtless there 
is one." 

" There certainly is one," said M. de TreVille, who had a tincture of 
letters, " and M. Benserade was quoting it to me the other day. Stop 
a minute — ah, this is it : ' Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes,' which 
means, ' Beware of the enemy who makes you presents.' " 

" This diamond does not come from an enemy, monsieur," replied 
D'Artagnan ; " it comes from the aueen." 

" From the queen ! oh, oh !" said M. de TreVille. " Why ; it is, in- 
deed, a true royal jewel, which is worth a thousand pistoles if it is worth 
a denier. By whom did the aueen send you this jewel ?" 

" She gave it to me herself." 


"In the closet adjoining the chamber in which she changed her 

" How r 

" Giving me her hand to kiss." 

" What ! you have kissed the queen's hand ?' said M. de TreVille, 
looking earnestly at D'Artagnan. 

" Her majesty did me the honour to grant me that favour." 

" And that in the presence of witnesses ! Imprudent woman ! thrice 
imprudent !" 

" No, monsieur ; be satisfied, nobody saw her," replied D'Artagnan, 
and he related to M. de TreVille how the affair had passed. 

" Oh, the women, the women !" cried the old soldier. " I know them 
by their romantic imaginations ; everything that savours of mystery 
charms them. So you have seen the arm, that was all ; you would meet 
the queen and you would not know her ; she might meet you and she 
would not know who you were ?" 

" No ; but thanks to this diamond," replied the young man. 

" Listen to me," said M. de TreVille ; " shall I give you a good piece 
of advice — a piece of friendly advice ?" 

" You will do me honour, monsieur," said D'Artagnan. 

" Well, then, go to the nearest goldsmith's, and sell that diamond for 
the highest price you can get from him ; however much of a Jew he 
may be, he will give you at least eight hundred pistoles. Pistoles have 
no name, young man, and that nng has a terrible one, which may 
betray him who wears it" 

" Sell this ring — a ring which comes from my sovereign ! never !" 
said D'Artagnan. 

" Then at least turn the collet of it inside, you silly fellow ; for every- 
body must be aware that a cadet from Gascony does not find such gems 
in his mother's jewel-case." 

" You think, then, I have something to dread r" asked D'Artagnan. 



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" I mean to say, young man, that he who sleeps over a mine, the 
match of which is already lighted, may consider himself in safety in 
comparison with you." 

" The devil !" said D'Artagnan, whom the positive tone of M. de 
TreVille began to make a little uneasy — " the devil ! what must I do ?" 

" Be particularly, and at all times, on your guard. The cardinal has 
a tenacious memory and a long arm ; you may depend upon it, he will 
repay you by some ill turn." 

" But what sort of one ?" 

" Eh ! how can I tell ? Has he not all the devil's tricks at command r 
The least that can be expected is that you will be arrested." 

" What ! will they dare to arrest a man in his majesty's service ?" 

" Pardieu / they did not scruple much in the case of Athos. At all 
events, young man, depend upon one who has been thirty years at 
court. Do not lull yourself in security, or you will be lost ; but, on 
the contrary — and it is I who tell you so — see enemies in all directions. 
If any one seeks a quarrel with you, shun it, were it with a child of 
ten years old ; if you are attacked by day or by night, fight, but retreat, 
without shame ; if you cross a bridge, feel every plank of it with your 
foot, lest one should give way beneath you ; if you pass before a house 
which is being built, look up, for fear a stone should fall upon your 
head ; if you stay out late, be always followed by your lackey, and let 
your lackey be armed, if, by-the-by, you can be sure of your lackey. 
Mistrust everybody, your friend, your brother, your mistress— your 
mistress in particular." 

D'Artagnan blushed. 

" Of my mistress," repeated he, mechanically ; " and why rather her 
than any other ?" 

" Because a mistress is one of the cardinal's favourite means — he has 
not one that is more expeditious ; a woman will sell you for ten pistoles, 
witness Dalila. You are acquainted with the Scriptures, eh ?" 

D'Artagnan thought of the appointment Madame Bonacieux had 
made with him for that very evening ; but we are bound to say, to the 
credit of our hero, that the bad opinion entertained by M. de TreVille 
of women in general, did not inspire him with the least suspicion of 
his pretty hostess. 

" But, Apropos," resumed M. de Tre*ville, " what has become of your 
three companions ?" 

" I was about to ask you if you had heard no news of them." 

" None whatever, monsieur." 

" Well, I left them on my road : Porthos at Chantilly, with a duel 
on his hands ; Aramis at Crevecoeur, with a ball in his shoulder ; and 
Athos at Amiens, detained by an accusation of coining !" 

"See there, now !" said M. de TreVille ; "and how the devil did you 
escape ?" 

" By a miracle, monsieur, I must acknowledge, with a sword-thrust 
in my breast, and by nailing M. le Comte de Wardes, on the bye-road 
to Calais, like a butterfly on a tapestry." 


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" There again ! De Wardes, one of the cardinal's men, a cousin of 
Rochefort's. But stop, my friend, I have an idea. 7 * 

" Speak, monsieur." 

" In your place, I would do one thing." 

"What, monsieur ?" 

u Whilst his eminence was seeking for me in Paris, I would take, 
without sound of drum or trumpet, the road to Picardy, and would go 
and make some inquiries concerning my three companions. What the 
devil ! they merit richly that piece of attention on your part" 

" The advice is good, monsieur, and to-morrow I will set out" 

" To-morrow ! and why not this evening ?" 

" This evening, monsieur, I am detained in Paris by an indispensable 

" Ah, young man, young man ! some love-passage or other ! Take 
care, I repeat to you, take care ! it is woman who was the ruin of us 
all, is the ruin of us all, and will be the ruin of us all, as long as the 
world stands. Take my advice, and set out this evening." 

" It is impossible, monsieur." 

" You have given your word, then ?" 

" Yes, monsieur." 

" Ah, that's quite another thing ; but promise me, if you should not 
happen to be killed to-night, that you will go to-morrow." 

"I promise you, monsieur." 

" Do you want money ?" 

" I have still fifty pistoles. That, I think, is as much as I shall 

" But your companions ?" 

" I don't think they can be in need of any. We left Paris with each 
seventy-five pistoles in his pocket." 

" Shall I see you again before your departure ?" 

" I think not, monsieur, unless anything fresh should happen." 

"Well, a pleasant journey to you, then." 

" Thank you, monsieur." 

And D'Artagnan left M. de TreVille, penetrated more than ever by 
his paternal solicitude for his musketeers. 

He called successively at the abodes of Athos, Porthos, and Aramis. 
Neither of them had returned. Their lackeys likewise were absent, 
and nothing had been heard of either masters or servants. 

He would have inquired after them at their mistress's, but he was 
neither acquainted with Porthos's nor Aramis's, and as to Athos, he 
had not one. 

As he passed the Hdtel des Gardes, he took a glance into the stables. 
Three out of the four horses were already arrived. Planchet, all 
astonishment, was busy grooming them, and had already finished two. 

"Ah, monsieur," said Planchet, on perceiving D'Artagnan, "how 
glad I am to see you." 

" Why so, Planchet ?" asked the young man. 

" Do you place confidence in our landlord, M. Bonacieux ?° 

12— a 


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" I ? Not the least in the world. " 

" Oh ! you do quite right, monsieur." 

" But, why do you ask ?" 

" Because, while you where talking with him, I watched you without 
listening to you ; and, monsieur, his countenance changed so, two or 
three times !" 


" Preoccupied as monsieur was with the letter he had received, he did 
not observe that ; but I, whom the strange fashion in which that letter 
came into the house had placed on my guard, I did not lose a move- 
ment of his features." 

" And you found it ?" 

" Traitorous, monsieur." 


" Still more ; as soon as monsieur had left, and disappeared round 
the corner of the street, M. Bonacieux took his hat, shut his door, and 
set off at a quick pace in an opposite direction." 

"It seems you are right, Planchet ; all this appears to be a little 
mysterious ; and be assured that we will not pay him our rent until 
the matter shall be categorically explained to us." 

" Monsieur jokes, but monsieur will see." 

" What would you have, Planchet? — It is written, that what must be 
must !" 

" Monsieur has not then renounced his excursion for this evening ?" 

" Quite the contrary, Planchet ; the more ill-will I have reason to 
entertain towards M. Bonacieux, the more punctual I shall be in keep- 
ing the appointment made with me in that letter which makes you so 

" Then that is monsieur's determination ?" 

" Most decidedly, my friend ; at nine o'clock, then, be ready here, at 
the hotel, I will come and take you." 

Planchet seeing there was no longer any hope of making his master 
renounce his project, heaved a profound sigh, and set to work to groom 
the third horse. 

As to D'Artagnan, being at bottom a prudent youth, instead of re- 
turning home, he went and dined with the Gascon priest, who, at the 
time of the distress of the four friends, had given them a breakfast of 



At nine o'clock D'Artagnan was at the Hotel des Gardes ; he found 
Planchet under arms. The fourth horse had arrived 

Planchet was armed with his musketoon and a pistol D'Artagnan 
had his sword, and placed two pistols in his belt ; then both mounted, 
and departed quietly. It was quite dark, and no one saw them go out 


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Planchet took his place behind his master, and kept at a distance of 
about ten paces from him. 

D'Artagnan crossed the quays, went out by the gate of La Confer- 
ence, and proceeded along the road, much more beautiful then than it 
is now, which leads to St Cloud. 

As long as he was in the city, Planchet kept at the respectful dis- 
tance he had imposed upon himself ; but as soon as the road began to 
be more lonely and dark, he drew softly nearer ; so that when they 
entered the Bois de Boulogne, he found himself riding quite naturally 
side by side with his master. In fact, we must not dissemble, that the 
oscillation of the tall trees, and the reflection of the moon in the dark 
underwood, gave him serious uneasiness. D'Artagnan could not help 
perceiving that something more than usual was passing in the mind of 
his lackey, and said : — 

" Well, Master Planchet ! what is the matter with us now ?" 

" Don't you think, monsieur, that woods are like churches ?" 

"How so, Planchet!" 

" Because we dare not speak aloud in one or the other. " 

" But why do you not dare to speak aloud, Planchet ?— because you 
are afraid ?" 

" Afraid of being heard ? — yes, monsieur. " 

" Afraid of being heard ! Why there is nothing improper in our 
conversation, my dear Planchet, and no one could find fault with it." 

" Ah, monsieur !" replied Planchet, recurring to his besetting idea, 
" that M. Bonacieux has something vicious in his eyebrows, and some- 
thing very unpleasant in the play of his lips." 

" What the devil makes you think of Bonacieux now ?" 

" Monsieur, we think of what we can, and not of what we wilL" 

" Because you are a coward, Planchet." 

" Monsieur, we must not confound prudence with cowardice ; pru- 
dence is a virtue." 

" And you are very virtuous, are you not, Planchet ?" 

" Monsieur, is not that the barrel of a musket which glitters yonder? 
Had we not better lower our heads ?" 

" In truth," murmured D'Artagnan, to whom M. de Tre'ville's recom- 
mendation recurred, "in truth, this animal will end by making me 
afraid." And he put his horse into a trot. 

Planchet followed the movements of his master, as if he had been 
his shadow, and was soon trotting by his side. 

" Are we going to continue this pace all night ?" asked Planchet 

" No, for you, on your part, are at your journey's end." 

" I, monsieur, am arrived ! and monsieur ?" 

" Why, I am going a few steps farther." 

" And does monsieur intend to leave me here alone ?" 

" You certainly are afraid, Planchet ?" 

" No ; but I only beg leave to observe to monsieur, that the night 
will be very cold, that chills bring on rheumatism, and that a lackey 
who has the rheumatism makes but a poor servant, particularly to a 
master as active as monsieur." 


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"Well, if you are cold, Planchet, you can go into one of those caba- 
rets that you see yonder, and be waiting for me at the door by six 
o'clock in the morning." 

" Monsieur, I have eaten and drunk respectfully the crown you gave 
me this morning ; so that I have not a sou left, in case I should be cold." 

" Here's half a pistole. To-morrow morning, then." 

D'Artagnan sprang from his horse, threw the bridle to Planchet, and 
departed at a quick pace, folding his cloak round him. 

" Good Lord, how cold I am !" cried Planchet, as soon as he had 
lost sight of his master ; and in such haste was he to warm himself, that 
he went straight to a house set out with all the attributes of a suburban 
auberge, and knocked at the door. 

In the meantime D'Artagnan, who had plunged into a bye-path, con- 
tinued his route, and gained St Cloud ; but instead of following the 
high street, he turned behind the chftteau, reached a sort of retired lane, 
and found himself soon in front of the pavilion named. It was situated 
in a very private spot A high wall, at the angle of which was the 
pavilion, ran along one side of this lane, and on the other was a little 
garden, connected with a poor cottage, which was protected from pas- 
sengers by a hedge. 

He gained the place appointed, and as no signal had been given him 
by which to announce his presence, he waited. 

Not the least noise was to be heard, it might be imagined that he 
was a hundred miles from the capital D'Artagnan leant against the 
hedge, after having cast a glance behind him. Beyond that hedge, that 
garden, and that cottage, a dark mist enveloped with its folds that im- 
mensity in which sleeps Paris, a vast void from which glittered a few 
luminous points, the funeral stars of that hell ! 

But for D'Artagnan all aspects were clothed happily, all ideas wore a 
smile, all darknesses were diaphanous. The appointed hour was about 
to strike. 

In fact, at the end of a few minutes, the belfry of St. Cloud let fall 
slowly ten strokes from its sonorous jaws. 

There was something melancholy in this brazen voice pouring out its 
lamentations amidst the night 

But every one of those hours which composed the expected hour, 
vibrated harmoniously to the heart of the young man. 

His eyes were fixed upon the little pavilion situated at the angle of 
the wall, of which all the windows were closed with shutters, except one 
on the first story. Through this window shone a mild light which silvered 
the foliage of two or three linden trees, which formed a group outside 
the park. There could be no doubt that behind this little window, 
which threw forth such friendly beams, the pretty Madame Bonacieux 
expected him. 

Wrapt in this sweet idea, D'Artagnan waited half an hour without 
the least impatience, his eyes fixed upon that charming little abode of 
which he could perceive a part of the ceiling with its gilded mouldings, 
attesting the elegance of the rest of the apartment 


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The belfry of St. Cloud struck half-past ten. 

This time, without at all knowing why, D'Artagnan felt a cold shiver 
run through his veins. Perhaps the cold began to affect him, and he 
took a perfectly physical sensation for a moral impression. 

Then the idea seized him that he had read incorrectly, and that the 
appointment was for eleven o'clock. He drew near to the window, and 
placing himself so that a ray of light should fall upon the letter as he 
held it, he drew it from his pocket, and read it again ; but he had not 
been mistaken, the appointment was for ten o'clock 

He went and resumed his post, beginning to be pretty uneasy at this 
silence and this solitude. 

Eleven o'clock struck ! 

D'Artagnan began now really to fear that something had happened to 
Madame Bonacieux. He clapped his hands three times, the ordinary 
signal of lovers ; but nobody replied to him — not even an echo. 

He then thought, with a touch of vexation, that perhaps the young 
woman had fallen asleep whilst waiting for him. 

He approached the wall, and endeavoured to climb up it ; but the 
wall had been recently pointed, and he could obtain no hold. 

At that moment he thought of the trees, upon whose leaves the light 
still shone, and as one of them drooped over the road, he thought that 
from its branches he might succeed in getting a glimpse of the interior 
of the room. 

The tree was easy to climb. Besides, D'Artagnan was but twenty 
years old, and consequently had not yet forgotten his school-boy habits. 
In an instant he was among the branches, and his keen eyes plunged 
through the transparent window into the interior of the pavilion. 

It was a strange thing, and one which made D'Artagnan tremble from 
the sole of his foot to the root of his hair, to find that this soft light, 
this calm lamp, enlightened a scene of fearful disorder : one of the 
windows was broken, the door of the chamber had been beaten in, and . 
hung, split in two, on its hinges ; a table, which had been covered with 
an elegant supper, was overturned ; the decanters, broken in pieces, 
and the fruits crushed, strewed the floor ; everything in the apartment 
gave evidence of a violent and desperate struggle ; D'Artagnan even 
fancied he could recognize amidst this strange disorder, fragments of 
garments, and some bloody spots staining the cloth and the curtains. 

He hastened down into the street, with a frightful beating at his 
heart ; he wished to see if he could find any other traces of violence. 

The little soft light continued to shine in the calm of the night. 
D'Artagnan then perceived, a thing that he had not before remarked, 
for nothing had led him to the examination, that the ground, trampled 
here, and hoof-marked there, presented confused traces of men and 
horses. Besides, the wheels of a carriage, which appeared to have come 
from Paris, had made a deep impression in the soft earth, which did 
not extend beyond the pavilion, but turned again towards Paris. 

At length D'Artagnan, in following up his researches, found near 
the wall a woman's torn glove ; which glove, wherever it had not 


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touched the muddy ground, was of irreproachable freshness. It was 
one of those perfumed gloves that lovers like to snatch from a pretty 

As D'Artagnan pursued his investigations, at every fresh discovery a 
more abundant and more icy sweat broke in large drops from his fore- 
head ; his heart was oppressed by a horrible anguish, his respiration 
" was broken and short ; and yet he said, to reassure himself, that this 
pavilion, perhaps, had nothing in common with Madame Bonacieux ; 
that the ycung woman had made an appointment with him before the 
pavilion, and not in the pavilion ; that she might have been detained 
in Paris by her duties, or perhaps by the jealousy of her husband. 

But all these reasons were combated, destroyed, overthrown, by 
that feeling of intimate pain which, on certain occasions, takes posses- 
sion of our being, and cries to us, so as to be understood unmistakably, 
that some great misfortune is hanging over us. 

Then D'Artagnan became almost wild ; he ran along the high road, 
took the path he had before taken, and, coming to the ferry, closely 
interrogated the boatman. 

About seven o'clock in the evening, the boatman said he had taken 
over a young woman, enveloped in a black mantle, who appeared to be 
very anxious not to be seen ; but, entirely on account of her precautions, 
the boatman had paid more attention to her, and discovered that she 
was young and pretty. 

There was then, as there is now, a crowd of young and pretty women 
who came to St. Cloud, and who had great reasons for not being seen, 
and yet D'Artagnan did not for an instant doubt that it was Madame 
Bonacieux whom the boatman had remarked. 

D'Artagnan took advantage of the lamp which burned in the cabin 
of the boatman to read the billet of Madame Bonacieux once again, and 
satisfy himself that he had not been mistaken, that the appointment 
was at St. Cloud and not elsewhere, before the pavilion of M. d'Estre'es 
and not in another street 

Everything conspired to prove to D'Artagnan that his presentiments 
had not deceived him, and that a great misfortune had happened. 

He again ran back to the chateau ; it appeared to him that some- 
thing might have happened at the pavilion in his absence, and that 
fresh information awaited him. 

The lane was still empty, and the same calm soft light shone from the 

D'Artagnan then thought of that silent, obscure cottage ; some one 
from it might have seen, no doubt, and might tell of something. 

The gate of the enclosure was shut, but he leaped over the hedge, and 
in spite of the barking of a chained-up dog, went up to the cabin. 

No one answered to his first knocking. A silence of death reigned in 
the cabin as in the pavilion ; the cabin, however, was his last resource ; 
he knocked again. 

It soon appeared to him that he heard a slight noise within, a timid 
noise, which seemed itself to tremble lest it should be heard. 


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Then D'Artagnan ceased to knock, and prayed with an accent so full 
of anxiety and promises, terror and cajolery, that his voice was of a na- 
ture to reassure the most fearful. At length an old, worm-eaten shutter 
was opened, or rather pushed ajar, but closed again as soon as the light 
from a miserable lamp which burned in the corner had shone upon the 
baldrick, sword-belt, and pistol pummels of D'Artagnan. Nevertheless, 
rapid as the movement had been, D'Artagnan had had time to get a 
glimpse of the head of an old man. 

" In the name of Heaven !" cried he, * listen to me : I have been wait- 
ing for some one who is not come ; I am dying with anxiety. Has any- 
thing particular happened in the neighbourhood ? Speak !" 

The window was again opened slowly, and the same face appeared 
again : only it was still more pale than before. 

D'Artagnan related his history simply, with the omission of names : 
he told how he had an appointment with a young woman before that 
pavilion, and how, not seeing her come, he had climbed the linden tree, 
and by the light of the lamp, had seen the disorder of the chamber. 

The old man listened attentively, making a sign only that it all was 
so ; and then, when D'Artagnan had ended, he shook his head with an 
air that announced nothing good. 

" What do you mean T cried D'Artagnan, " in the name of Heaven, 
tell me, explain yourself. ,, 

" Oh ! monsieur," said the old man, " ask me nothing ; for if I told 
you what I have seen, certainly no good would befall me." 

" You have then seen something?" replied D'Artagnan. " In that case, 
in the name of Heaven," continued he, throwing him a pistole, "tell me 
what you have seen, and I will pledge you the word of a gentleman that 
not one of your words shall escape from my heart." 

The old man read so much truth and so much grief in the face of the 
young man, that he made him a sign to listen, and repeated in a low voice : 

" It was scarcely nine o'clock when I heard a noise in the street, and 
was wondering what it could be, when on coming to my door, I found 
that somebody was endeavouring to open it. As I am very poor, and 
am not afraid of being robbed, I went and opened the gate and saw three 
men at a few paces from it. In the shade was a carriage with two horses, 
and a man held three saddle horses. These horses evidently belonged to 
the three men, who were dressed as cavaliers. 

" ' Ah ! my worthy gentlemen,' cried I, ' what do you want ? 

" ' Have you a ladder ? said the one who appeared to be the leader 
of the party. 

" ' Yes, monsieur, the one with which I gather my fruit' 

" ' Lend it to us, and go into your house again ; there is a Crown for 
the annoyance we have caused you. Only remember this, if you speak 
a word of what you may see or what you may hear (for you will look 
and you will listen, I am quite sure, however we may threaten you), you 
are lost.' 

" At these words he threw me a crown, which I picked up, and he 
took the ladder. 


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"After shutting the gate behind them, I pretended to return to the 
house, but I immediately went out at a back door, and stealing along in 
the shade of the hedge, I gained yonder clump of elder, from which I 
could hear and see everything. 

"The three men brought the carriage up quietly, and took out of it a 
little man, stout, short, elderly, and commonly dressed in clothes of a dark 
colour, who ascended the ladder very carefully, looked suspiciously in at 
the window of the pavilion, came down as quietly as he had gone up, 
and whispered : 

"' It is she!' 

" Immediately he who had spoken to me approached the door of the 
pavilion, opened it with a key he had in his hand, closed the door and 
disappeared, whilst at the same time the other two men ascended the 
ladder. The little old man remained at the coach door, the coachman 
took care of his horses, the lackey held the saddle horses. 

" All at once great cries resounded in the pavilion, and a woman came 
to the window, and opened it, as if to throw herself out of it ; but as 
soon as she perceived the other two men, she fell back and they got into 
the chamber. 

" Then I saw no more ; but I heard the noise of breaking furniture. 
The woman screamed and cried for help. But her cries were soon stifled ; 
two of the men appeared, bearing the woman in their arms, and carried 
her to the carriage, into which the little old man got after her. The 
leader closed the window, came out an instant after at the door, and 
satisfied himself that the woman was in the carriage : his two companions 
were already on horseback ; he sprang into his saddle, the lackey took 
hisplace-by the coachman, the carriage went off at a quick pace, escorted 
by the three horsemen, and all was over : — from that moment I have 
neither seen nor heard anything. " 

D'Artagnan, entirely overcome by this terrible story, remained motion- 
less and mute, whilst all the demons of anger and jealousy were howling 
in his heart. 

" But, my good gentleman," resumed the old man, upon whom this 
mute despair certainly produced a greater effect than cries and tears 
would have done ; " do not take on so, they did not kill her from you, 
that's a comfort." 

" Do you know anything," said D'Artagnan, " of the man who led 
this infernal expedition ?" 

" I don't know him at all." 

" But, as you spoke to him you must have seen him." 

" Oh ! it's a description of him you want ?" 

" Exactly so." 

44 A tall, dark man, with black moustaches, dark eyes, and looked like 
a gentleman." 

" That's the man !" cried D'Artagnan, " again he, for ever he ! He 
is my demon, to all appearance. And the other?" 


"The short on** 


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" Oh ! he was not a gentleman, iH answer for it ; besides, he did not 
wear a sword, and the others treated him with no consideration." 

" Some lackey," murmured D'Artagnan. " Poor girl ! poor girl ! 
what have they done with you ?" 

" You have promised to be secret, my good monsieur ?" said the old 

"And I repeat my promise ; be satisfied, I am a gentleman. A gen- 
tleman has but his word, and I have given you mine." 

With a heavy heart, D , Artagnan again bent his way towards the ferry. 
Sometimes he hoped it could not be Madame Bonacieux, and that he 
should find her next day at the Louvre ; sometimes he feared she had 
had an intrigue with another, who, in a jealous fit, had surprised her 
and carried her off. His mind was torn by doubt, grief, and despair. 

" Oh ! if I had my three friends here !" cried he, " I should have, at 
least, some hopes of finding her ; but who knows what is become of 
them themselves ?" 

It was past midnight ; the next thing was to find Planchet D'Ar- 
tagnan went successively into all the cabarets in which there was a 
light, but could not meet with Planchet in any of them. 

At the sixth he began to reflect that the search was rather hazar- 
dous. D'Artagnan had appointed six o'clock in the morning with his 
lackey, and wherever he might be, he was doing as he had bidden 

Besides, it came into the young man's mind, that by remaining in the 
environs of the spot on which this sad event had passed, he should, 
perhaps, have some light thrown upon the mysterious affair. At the 
sixth cabaret, then, as we said, D'Artagnan stopped, asked for a bottle 
of wine of the best quality, and placing himself in the darkest corner of 
the room, determined thus to wait till daylight ; but this time again his 
hopes were disappointed, and although he listened with all his ears, he 
heard nothing, amidst the oaths, coarse jokes, and abuse which passed 
between the labourers, servants, and carters, who comprised the honour- 
able society of which he formed a part, which could put him at all upon 
the traces of her who had been stolen from him. He was compelled, 
then, after having swallowed the contents of his bottle, to pass the time 
as well as to avoid suspicion, to fall into the easiest position in his 
corner, and to sleep, whether well or ill. D'Artagnan, be it remem- 
bered, was only twenty years old, and at that age sleep has its impre- 
scriptible rights, which it imperiously insists upon, even in the saddest 

Towards six o'clock, D'Artagnan awoke with that uncomfortable feel- 
ing which generally follows a bad night He was not long in making 
his toilette ; he examined himself to see if advantage had not been 
taken of his sleep, and having found his diamond ring on his finger, his 
purse in his pocket, and his pistols in his belt, he got up, paid for his 
wine, and went out to try if ne could have any better luck in his search 
after his lackey than he had had the night before. The first thing he 
perceived through the damp grey mist was honest Planchet, who, with 


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the two horses in hand, awaited him at the door of a little blind cabaret, 
before which D'Artagnan had passed without even suspecting its exist- 


Instead of returning directly home, D'Artagnan alighted at the door 
of M. de TreVille, and ran quickly up the stairs. This time he was de- 
termined to relate all that had passed. He would doubtless give him 
good advice in the whole affair; and besides, as M. de TreVille saw 
the queen almost every day, he might be able to get from her majesty 
some intelligence of the poor young woman, whom they were doubtless 
making pay very dearly for her devote dness to her mistress. 

M. de TreVille listened to the young man's account with a seriousness 
which proved that he saw something else in this adventure besides a 
love affair ; and when D'Artagnan had finished : 

" Hum !" said he, "all this savours of his eminence, a league off." 

" But, what is to be done ?" said D'Artagnan. 

" Nothing, absolutely nothing, at present, but quitting Paris, as I told 
you, as soon as possible. I will see the queen ; I will relate to her the 
details of the disappearance of this poor woman, of which she is, no 
doubt, ignorant. These details will guide her on her part, and, on your 
return, I shall perhaps have some good news to tell you." 

D'Artagnan knew that, although a Gascon, M. de TreVille was not in 
the habit of making promises, and that when by chance he did promise, 
he generally more than kept his word. He bowed to him, then, full of 
gratitude for the past and for the future, and the worthy captain, who, 
on his side, felt a lively interest in this young man, so brave and so reso- 
lute, pressed his hand kindly, whilst wishing him a pleasant journey. 

Determined to put the advice of M. de TreVille in practice instantly, 
D'Artagnan directed his course towards the Rue des Fossoyeurs, in 
order to superintend the packing of his valise. On approaching the 
house, he perceived M. Bonacieux, in morning costume, standing at his 
door. All that the prudent Planchet had said to him the preceding 
evening recurred to the mind of D'Artagnan, who looked at him with 
more attention than he had done before. In fact, in addition to that 
yellow, sickly paleness which indicates the insinuation of the bile in the 
blood, and which might, besides, be accidental, D'Artagnan remarked 
something perfidiously significant in the play of the wrinkled features 
of his countenance. A rogue does not laugh in the same way that an 
honest man does ; a hypocrite does not shed the same sort of tears as 
fall from the eyes of a man of good faith. All falsehood is a mask, and 
however well made the mask may be, with a little attention we may 
always succeed in distinguishing it from the true face. 

It appeared, then, to D'Artagnan, that M. Bonacieux wore a mask, 
and likewise that that mask was very disagreeable to look upon. 

fn consequence of this feeling of repugnance, he was about to pass 


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without speaking to him, but, as he had done the day before, M. Bona- 
cieux accosted him. 

" Well, young man," said he, " we appear to pass rather gay nights ! 
Seven o'clock in the morning ! Peste ! you seem to reverse ordinary 
customs, and come home at the hour when other people are going out. ' 

"No onecan reproach you foranything of the kind, Master Bonacieux,'* 
said the young man ; " you are a model for regular people. It is true 
that when a man possesses a young and pretty wife, he has no need to 
seek happiness elsewhere ; happiness comes to meet him, does it not, 
Monsieur Bonacieux ?" 

Bonacieux became as pale as death, and grinned a ghastly smile. 

"Ah ! ah !" said Bonacieux, "you are a jocular companion! But 
where the devil were you gadding last night, my young master? It 
does not appear to be very clean in the cross-roads." 

D'Artagnan glanced down at his boots, all covered with mud, but that 
same glance fell upon the shoes and stockings of the mercer, and it 
might have been said they had been dipped in the same mud-heap ; 
both were stained with splashes of mud of the same appearance. 

Then a sudden idea crossed the mind of D'Artagnan. That little 
stout man, short and elderly, that sort of lackey, dressed in dark clothes, 
treated without consideration by the men wearing swords who com- 
posed the escort, was Bonacieux himself ! The husband had presided 
over the carrying off of his wife ! 

A terrible inclination immediately took possession of D'Artagnan to 
seize the mercer by the throat and strangle him ; but, as we have said, 
he was, occasionally, a very prudent youth, and he restrained himself. 
The revolution, however, which had appeared upon his countenance, 
was so visible, that Bonacieux was terrified at it, and he endeavoured 
to draw back a step or two, but being before the flap of the door, which 
was shut, the obstacle compelled him to keep his place. 

" Ah ! ah ! but you are joking, my worthy man !" said D'Artagnan. 
"It appears to me that if my boots want a sponge, your stockings and 
shoes stand in equal need of a brush. May you not have been philan- 
dering a little also, Master Bonacieux ? Oh ! the devil ! that's unpar- 
donable in a man of your age, and who, besides, has such a pretty young 
wife as yours is !" 

" Oh lord ! no," said Bonacieux ; " but yesterday I went to Saint 
Mande*, to make some inquiries after a servant, as I cannot possibly do 
without one, and the roads were so bad that I brought back all this mud, 
which I have not yet had time to remove." 

The place named by Bonacieux as that which had been the object of 
his journey was a fresh proof in support of the suspicions D'Artagnan 
had conceived. Bonacieux had named Mande', because Mand^ was in 
an exactly opposite direction to Saint Cloud. This probability afforded 
him his first consolation. If Bonacieux knew where his wife was, the 
mercer might, at any time, by employing extreme means, be forced to 
open his teeth, and allow his secret to escape. The question^ then, only 
was to change this probability into a certainty. 


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190 Th£ three musketeers. 

u I beg your pardon, my dear Monsieur Bonacieux, if I don't stand 
upon ceremony," said D'Artagnan, " but nothing makes one so thirsty 
as want of sleep ; I am parched with thirst ; allow me to take a glass 
of water in your apartment ; you know that is never refused among 
neighbours !" 

And without waiting for the permission of his host, D'Artagnan went 
quickly into the house, and cast a rapid glance at the bed. The bed 
had not been slept in. Bonacieux had not been to bed. He had only 
been back an hour or two ; he had accompanied his wife to the place of 
her confinement, or else, at least, to the first relay. 

" Many thanks to you, Master Bonacieux," said D'Artagnan, empty- 
ing his glass : "that is all I wanted of you. I will now go up into my 
room, I will make Planchet brush my boots, and when he has done, I 
will, if you like, send him to you to brush your shoes." 

And he left the mercer quite astonished at his singular farewell, and 
asking himself if he had not been a little inconsiderate. 

At the top of the stairs he found Planchet in a great fright 

" Ah ! monsieur !" cried Planchet, as soon as he perceived his master, 
" here is more trouble ! I thought you would never come in I" 

" What's the matter now, Planchet ?" 

" Oh ! I giv* you a hundred, I give you a thousand times to guess, 
monsieur, the visit I have received in your absence." 


" About half an hour ago, whilst you were at M. de TreVille's." 

" Who has been here ? Come, speak." 

" M. de Cavois." 

" M. de Cavois ?" 

"In person." 

" The captain of his eminence's guards ?" 


" Did he come to arrest me ?" 

" I have no doubt he did, monsieur, for all his carnying manner." 

" Was he so polite, then r" 

" All honey, monsieur." 

" Indeed !" 

" He came, he said, on the part of his eminence, who wished you well, 
and to beg you to follow him to the Palais-Cardinal"* 

" What did vou answer him ?" 

" That the thing was impossible, seeing that you were not at home, as 
he might perceive." 

" Well, what did he say then ?" 

" That you must not fail to call upon him in the course of the day ; 
and then he added, in a low voice, * Tell your master that his eminence 
is very well disposed towards him, and that his fortune perhaps depends 
upon this interview.' " 

• M. Dumas calls ft the Palais-Royal, but it was called the Palais-Cardinal before Richelieu 
had given it to the king indeed, l doubt whether it w.^s built at all at the period of this 
story. -Trans. 


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" The snare is not very skilfully set for the cardinal," replied the 
young man, smiling. 

" Oh ! yes, I saw the snare, and I answered you would be quite in 
despair, on your return. 

" 'Where is he gone to?' asked M. de Cavois. 

" * To Troyes, in Champagne,' I answered. 

" ' And when did he set out ? 

" c Yesterday evening.' " 

" Planchet, my friend," interrupted D'Artagnan, " you are really a 
jewel of a man." 

" You will understand, monsieur, I thought there would be still time, 
if you wish, to see M. de Cavois, to contradict me by saying you were 
not yet gone ; the falsehood would then lie at my door, and as I am not 
a gentleman, I may be allowed to lie." 

" Be of good heart, Planchet, you shall preserve your reputation as a 
man of truth ; in a quarter of an hour we will set off." 

" That's just the advice I was going to give, monsieur : and where 
are we going, may I ask, without being too curious ?" 

" Pardieu ! in the opposite direction to that which you said I was 
gone. Besides, are you not as anxious to learn news of Grimaud, Mous- 
queton, and Bazin, as I am to know what has become of Athos, Porthos, 
and Aram is ?" 

" Oh ! yes, monsieur," said Planchet, " and I will go as soon as you 
please ; indeed, I think provincial air will suit us much better just now 
than the air of Paris. So then " 

" So then, pack up our necessaries, Planchet, and let us be off. On 
my part, I will go out with my hands in my pockets, that nothing may 
be suspected. You can join me at the Hdtel des Gardes. Apropos, 
Planchet, I think you are right with respect to our host, and that he is 
decidedly a frightfully low wretch." 

" Ah ! monsieur ! you may take my word when I tell you anything. 
I am a physiognomist, I assure you !" 

D'Artagnan went out first, as had been agreed upon ; then, in order 
that he might have nothing to reproach himself with, he directed his 
steps towards the residences of his three friends : no news had been 
received of them ; only a letter, all perfumed, and of an elegant writing 
in small characters, was come for Aramis. D'Artagnan took charge of 
it Ten minutes afterwards, Planchet joined him at the stables of the 
Hotel des Gardes. D'Artagnan, in order that there might be no time 
lost, had saddled his horse himself. 

" That's well," said he to Planchet, when the latter added the port- 
manteau to the equipment ; " now saddle the other three horses." 

" Do you think, then, monsieur, that we shall travel faster with two 
horses a-piece ?" said Planchet, with his cunning air. 

" No master joker," replied D'Artagnan, "but with our four horses we 
may bring back our three friends, if we should have the good fortune 
to find them living." 

" Which must be a great chance," replied Planchet, " but we must not 
despair of the mercy of God." 


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"Amen !" cried D'Artagnan, getting into his saddle. 

As they went from the Hotel des Gardes, they separated, leaving the 
street at opposite ends, one having to quit Paris by the barrier of La 
Villette, and the other by the barrier Mont-Martre, with an understand- 
ing to meet again beyond St. Denis, a strategetic manoeuvre which, 
having been executed with equal punctuality, was crowned with the 
most fortunate results. D'Artagnan and Planchet entered Pierrefitte 

Planchet was more courageous, it must be admitted, by day than by 
night His natural prudence, however, never forsook him for a single 
instant ; he had forgotten not one of the incidents of the first journey, 
and he looked upon everybody he met on the road as an enemy. It 
followed that his hat was for ever in his hand, which procured him 
some severe reprimands from D'Artagnan, who feared that his excess 
of politeness would lead people to think he was the lackey of a man of 
no consequence. 

Nevertheless, whether the passengers were really touched by the 
urbanity of Planchet, or whether this time nobody was posted on the 
young man's road, our two travellers arrived at Chantilly without any 
accident, and alighted at the hotel of the Grand Saint Martin, the same 
they had stopped at on their first journey. 

The host, on seeing a young man followed by a lackey with two led 
horses, advanced respectfully to the door. Now, as they had already 
travelled eleven leagues, D'Artagnan thought it time to stop, whether 
Porthos were or were not in the hotel. And then perhaps it would not 
be prudent to ask at once what had become of the musketeers. It 
resulted from these reflections that D'Artagnan, without asking intelli- 
gence of any kind, alighted, recommended the horses to the care of his 
lackey, entered a small room destined to receive such as wished to be 
alone, and desired the host to bring him a bottle of his best wine, and 
as good a breakfast as possible, a desire which further corroborated 
the high opinion the aubergiste had formed of the traveller at first 

D'Artagnan was therefore served with a miraculous celerity. The 
regiment of the guards was recruited among the first gentlemen of the 
kingdom, and D'Artagnan, followed by a lackey with four magnificent 
horses, could not fail to make a sensation. The host desired to wait 
upon him himself which D'Artagnan perceiving, ordered two glasses to 
be brought, and commenced the following conversation : 

" Ma foi ! my good host," said D'Artagnan, filling the two glasses, "I 
asked for a bottle of your best wine, and if you have deceived me, you 
will be punished by that you have sinned in, for, seeing that I hate 
drinking by myself, you shall drink with me. Take your glass then 
and let us drink. But what shall we drink to, so as to avoid wounding 
any susceptibility ? Let us drink to the prosperity of your establish- 

" Your lordship does me much honour," said the host " and I thank 
you sincerely for your kind wish," 


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*' But don't mistake," said D'Artagnan, " there is more selfishness in 
my toast than perhaps you may think ; for it is only in prosperous 
establishments that one is well received ; in hotels that do not flourish, 
everything is in confusion, and the traveller is a victim to the embar- 
rassments of his host : now I travel a great deal, particularly on this 
road, and I wish to see all aubergistes making a fortune." 

" I was thinking," said the host, " that it was not the first time I had 
had the honour of seeing monsieur." 

" Bah ! I have passed, perhaps, ten times through Chantilly,and out 
of the ten times, I have stopped three or four times at your house at 
least Why I was here only ten or twelve days ago ; I was conducting 
some friends, musketeers, one of whom, by-the-bye, had a dispute with 
a stranger, an unknown, a man who sought a quarrel with nim for I 
don't know what." 

"Ah ! exactly so !" said the host ; " I remember it perfectly. Is it 
not M. Porthos, that your lordship means T 

" Yes ; that is my companion's name. Good heavens ! my dear host ; 
I hope nothing has happened to him ?" 

" Your honour must have observed that he could not continue his 

" Why, to be sure, he promised to rejoin us, and we have seen nothing 
of him." 

"He has done us the honour to remain here." 

" What ! he has done you the honour to remain here ?" 

" Yes, monsieur, in this hotel ; and we are even a little uneasy " 

" On what account ?" 

" Certain expenses he has been at." 

"Well : but whatever expenses he may have incurred, I am sure he 
is in a condition to pay them." 

" Ah ! monsieur, you infuse balm into my mind \ We have made 
considerable advances ; and this morning only the surgeon declared 
that if M. Porthos did not pay him, he should look to me, as it was I 
who had sent for him." 

" What, is Porthos wounded, then ?" 

" I cannot tell you, monsieur." 

" What ! you cannot tell me ! surely you ought to be able to tell me 
better than any other person." 

" Yes ; but in our situation we must not say all we know ; parti- 
cularly when we have been warned that our ears should answer for our 

" Well ! can I see Porthos ?" 

"Certainly, monsieur. Take the stairs on your right ; go up the first 
flight, and knock at No. 1. Only warn him that it is you." 

•* Warn him ! why should I do that ?" 

" Because, monsieur, some mischief might happen to you." 

" Of what kind, in the name of wonder ?" 

" M. Porthos may imagine you belong to the house, and in a fit of 
passion might run his sword through you* or blow out your brains." 



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" What have you done to him, then ?" 

" We asked him for money. " 

u The devil ! — ah! I can understand that ; it is a demand that Porthos 
takes very ill when he is not in funds ; but I know he ought to be so 
at present." 

u We thought so too, monsieur*; as our concern is carried on very 
regularly, and we make our bills every week, at the end of eight days 
we presented our account ; but it appeared we had chosen an unlucky 
moment, for at the first word oh the subject, he sent us to all the devils ; 
it is true he had been playing the day before." 

" Playing the day before ! — and with whom r* 

11 Lord ! who can say, monsieur ? With some gentleman who was 
travelling this way, to whom he proposed a game of lansquenet" 

" That's it, then ! and the foolish fellow has lost all he had ?" 

a Even to his horse, monsieur ; for when the gentleman was about to 
set out, we perceived that his lacquey was saddling M. Porthos's horse, 
as well as his master's. When we observed this to him, he told us to 
trouble ourselves with our own business, as this horse belonged to him. 
We also informed M. Porthos of what was going on ; but he told us we 
were scoundrels, to doubt a gentleman's word ; and that as he had said 
the horse was his, there cpuld be no doubt that it was so." 

u That's Porthos all over 1" murmured D'Artagnan. 

"Then," continued the host, " I replied that from the moment we 
seemed not destined to come to a good understanding with respect to 
payment, I hoped that he would have, at least, the kindness to grant 
the favour of his custom to my brother host of the Aigled'Or ; but M. 
Porthos replied, that my hotel being the best, he should remain where 
he was. 

" This reply was too flattering to allow me to insist on his departure. 
I confined myself then to begging him to give up his chamber, which is 
the handsomest in the hotel, and to be satisfied with a pretty little 
closet on the third floor. But to this M. Porthos replied, that as he 
every moment expected his mistress, who was one of the greatest ladies 
of the court, I might easily comprehend that the chamber he did me 
the honour to occupy in my house was itself very mean for the visit of 
such a personage. 

" Nevertheless, whilst acknowledging the truth of what he said, I 
thought proper to insist ; but without even giving himself the trouble 
to enter into any discussion with me, he took one of his pistols, laid it 
on his table, day and night, and said that at the first word that should be 
spoken to him about removing, either within the house or out of it, he 
would blow out the brains of the person who should be so imprudent 
as to meddle with a matter which only concerned himself. So from 
that time, monsieur, nobody enters his chamber but his servant" 

" What ! Mousqueton is here, then ?" 

" Oh ! yes, monsieur ; five days after your departure, he came back, 
and in a very bad condition, too ; it appears that he had met with dis- 
agreeables, likewise, on his journey. Unfortunately he is more nimble 


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than his master \ so that for the sake of his master, he sets us all at 
defiance ; and as he thinks we might refuse what he asked for, he takes 
all he wants without asking at all.* 1 

"Well, it's a fact," said D'Artagnan, " I always observed a great degree 
of intelligence and devotedness to his master in Mousqueton." 

" Very possibly, monsieur : but suppose if I should happen to be 
brought in contact, only four times a year, with such intelligence and 
devotedness, — why, I should be a ruined man !" 

" No ! for Porthos will pay you." 

" Hum !" said the host, in a doubting tone. 

" Why, it is not to be imagined that the favourite of a great lady will 
be allowed to be inconvenienced for such a paltry sum as he owes 

" If I durst say what I believe on that head * 

"What you believed 

" I ought rather to say : what I know." 

" What you know ?" 

" Aye ; even what I am sure of." 

" Well : tell me what this is you are so sure off" 

" I would say, that I know this great lady." 


" Yes ; I." 

" And how did you become acquainted with her r" 

" Oh ! monsieur, if I could believe I might trust in your discretion." 

" Speak : by the word of a gentleman, you shall have no cause to 
repent of your confidence." 

" Well, monsieur, you may conceive that uneasiness makes us do many 

4 * What have you done T 9 

" Oh ! nothing that I had not a right to do in the character of a 

" Go on I* 

" Instead of putting the letter in the post, which is never safe, I took 
advantage of one of my lads being going to Paris, and I ordered him to 
convey the letter to this duchess himself. This was fulfilling the inten- 
tions of M. Porthos, who had desired us to be so careful of this letter, 
was it not ?" 

" Nearly so." 

" Well, monsieur, do you know who this great lady is ?" 

" No ; I have heard Porthos speak of her, that's all." 

14 Do you know who this pretended duchess is ?" 

" I repeat to you, I don't know her." 

** Why, she is the wife of a procureur of the Chatelet, monsieur, named 
Madame Coquenard ; who, although she is at least fifty, still gives her- 
self jealous airs. It struck me as very odd, that a princess should live 
in the Rue aux Ours." 

" But how do you know all this f" 

" Because she flew into a great passion on receiving the letter, saty» 



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ing that M. Porthcs was a fickle, inconstant man, and that she was sure 
it was on account of some woman he had received this wound." 

" What, has he been wounded then ?" 

" Oh ! good Lord ! what have I said ?" 

"You said that Porthos was wounded." - 

" Yes, but he has forbidden me so strictly to say so P 

"And why so?* 

" Zounds ! monsieur, only because he had boasted that he would per- 
forate the stranger with whom you left him in dispute where he pleased, 
whereas the stranger, on the contrary, in spite of all his rhodomontades, 
quickly brought him on his back. Now, as M. Porthos, is a very vain- 
glorious man, he insists that nobody shall know he has received this 
wound, except the duchess, whom he endeavoured to interest by an 
account of his adventure." 

" It is a wound, then, that confines him to his bed ?" 

" Ah ! and something like a wound, too ! I assure you. Your friend's 
soul must stick pretty tight to his body." 

" Were you there, then ?" 

" Monsieur, I followed them from curiosity, so that I saw the combat 
without the combatants seeing me.' 

" And what took place r" 

" Oh ! the affair was not long, I assure you. They placed themselves 
in guard : the stranger made a feint and a lunge, and that so rapidly, 
that when M. de Porthos came to the parade, he had already three 
inches of steel in his breast. He immediately fell backwards. _ The 
stranger placed the point of his sword at his throat ; and M. Porthos, 
finding himself at the mercy of his adversary, allowed himself to be 
conquered. Upon which the stranger asked his name, and learning 
that it was Porthos, and not M. D'Artagnan, he assisted him to rise, 
brought him back to the hotel, mounted his horse, and disappeared. 

" So it was with M. D'Artagnan this stranger meant to quarrel ?" 

" It appears so.'' 

" And do you know what has become of him ?" 

" No ; I never saw him until that moment ; and have not seen him 

" Very well ! now I know all that I wish to know. Porthos's chamber 
is, you say, on the first story, No. i ?" 

" Yes, monsieur, the handsomest in the auberge ; a chamber that I 
could have had occupied ten times over." 

"Well, well, be satisfied," said D'Artagnan, laughing ; " Porthos will 
pay you with the money of the Duchess Coquenard." 

" Oh ! monsieur, procureuse or duchess, if she will but draw her purse- 
strings, it will be all the same ; but she positively answered that she was 
tired of the exigencies and infidelities of M. Porthos, and that she would 
not send him a denier." 

" And did you convey this answer to your guest ?" 

" We took good care not to do that ; he would have Lund out how 
we had delivered the letter." 


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" So that he is still in expectation of his money ?" 

" Oh ! mon Dieu ! yes, monsieur ! Yesterday he wrote again, but it 
was his servant who this time put his letter in the post." 

" Do you say the procureuse is old and ugly ?" 

" Fifty at least, monsieur, and not at all handsome, according to 
Pathaud's account." 

" In that case, you may be quite at ease : she will soon be softened; 
besides, Porthos cannot owe you much." 

" How, not much ! Twenty good pistoles, already, without reckoning 
the doctor. Bless you, he denies himself nothing ; it may easily be seen 
he has been accustomed to live pretty well." 

" Never mind ! if his mistress abandons him, he will find friends, I 
will answer for it So, my dear host, be not uneasy, and continue to 
take all the care of him that his situation requires." 

" Monsieur has promised me not to open his mouth about the pro- 
cureuse, and not to say a word of the wound ?" 

" That's a thing agreed upon ; you have my word." 

" Oh ! he would kill me ! I am sure he would !" 

" Don't be afraid : he is not so much of a devil as he appears to be." 

Saying these words, D'Artagnan went upstairs, leaving his host a 
little better satisfied with respect to two things in which he appeared to 
be very much interested — his debt and his life. 

At the top of the stairs, upon the most conspicuous door of the cor- 
ridor, was traced in black ink a gigantic " No. 1 ;" D'Artagnan knocked, 
and upon being desired to ccme in, entered the chamber. 

Porthos was in bed, and was playing a game at lansquenet with Mous- 
queton, to keep his hand in, whilst a spit loaded with partridges was 
turning before the fire, and, at each side of a large chimney-piece, over 
two chafing-dishes, were boiling two stew-pans, from which exhaled a 
double odour of gibelotte and vtaiclotte, very grateful to the olfactory 
nerves. In addition to this, he perceived that the top of a wardrobe 
and the marble of a commode were covered with empty bottles. 

At the sight of his friend, Porthos uttered a loud cry of joy ; and 
Mousqueton, rising respectfully, yielded his place to him, and went to 
give an eye to the two stew-pans, of which he appeared to have the par- 
ticular inspection. 

"Ah ! pardieu ! is that you!" said Porthos to D'Artagnan. "You 
are right welcome, my dear fellow !— I hope you will excuse my not 
coming to meet you. But," added he, looking at D'Artagnan, with a 
certain degree of uneasiness, " you know what has happened to me ?" 

" Not exactly." 

" Has the host told you nothing, then?" 

" I asked after you, and came up as soon as I could." 

Porthos seemed to breathe more freely. 

"And what has happened to you, my dear Porthos?" continued 

" Why, on making a thrust at my adversary, whom I had already hit 
three times, and with whom I meant to finish by a fourth, I put my foot 
on a stone, slipped, and strained my knee." 


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" Indeed !" 

" Honour ! Luckily for the rascal, for I should have left him dead on 
the spot, I assure you." 

" And what became of him r* 

" Oh ! I don't know ; he had enough, and set off without waiting for 
the rest. But you, my dear D'Artagnan, what has happened to you ?" 

" So that this strain of the knee," continued D'Artagnan, " my dear 
Porthos, keeps you here in bed r* 

" Mon Dieu ! that's all ; I shall be about again in a few days." 

" Why did you not have yourself conveyed to Paris ? Living here 
must be cruelly wearisome." 

" That was my intention ; but, my dear friend, I have one thing to 
confess to you." 

" What's that r 

" It is, that, as I found it cruelly wearisome, as you say, and as I had 
the seventy-five pistoles in my pocket which you had distributed to me, 
in order to amuse myself, I invited a gentleman who was travelling this 
way to walk up, and proposed a cast of dice to him. He accepted 
my challenge, and, mafoi! my seventy-five pistoles quickly passed from 
my pocket to his, without reckoning my horse, which he won into the 
bargain. But you, I want to know about you, D'Artagnan ?" 

" What can you expect, my dear Porthos ; a man is not privileged in 
all ways," said D'Artagnan ; " you know the proverb : * Unlucky at 
play, lucky in love.' You are too fortunate in your love, for play not to 
take its revenge ; what consequence can the reverses of fortune be to 
you?— have you not, happy rogue as you are, have you not your 
duchess, who cannot fail to come to your assistance ?" 

" Well ! you see, my dear D'Artagnan, with what ill luck I play," re- 
plied Porthos ; "with the most careless air in the world I wrote to her to 
send me fifty louis, or so, of which I stood absolutely in need, on account 
of my accident." 


" Well ! she must be at her country-seat, for she has not answered 

" Indeed !" 

" No ; so I yesterday addressed another letter to her, still more 
pressing than the first ; but you are come, my dear fellow, let us speak 
of you. I confess I began to be very uneasy on your account." 

" But your host behaves very well towards you, as it appears, friend 
Porthos," said D'Artagnan, directing the sick man's attention to the full 
stewpans and the empty bottles. 

" So, so !" replied Porthos. " It is not above four days ago since the 
impertinent jackanapes gave me his bill, and I was forced to turn both 
him and his bill out of the door ; so that I am here something in the 
fashion of a conqueror, holding my posftion, as it were, by conquest 
So, you see, being in constant fear of being forced in that position, I am 
armed to the teeth." 

" And yet," said D'Artagnan, laughing, " it appears to me that from 


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time to time you must make sorties." And he again pointed to the 
bottles and the stewpans. 

" No, not I, unfortunately !" said Porthos. " This miserable strain 
confines me to my bed, but Mousqueton forages, and brings in pro- 
visions. Friend Mousqueton, you see that we have a reinforcement 
arrived, and we must have an increase of provisions." 

u Mousqueton," said D'Artagnan, " you must render me a service." 

" Of what kind, monsieur V 

" You must give your receipt to Planchet ; I may be besieged in my 
turn, and I shall not be sorry for him to be able to let me enjoy the 
same advantages with which you gratify your master." 

" Lord, monsieur ! there is nothing more easy," said Mousqueton, 
with a modest air. " It only requires to be sharp, that's all. I was 
brought up in the country, and my father, in his leisure time, was some- 
thing of a poacher." 

" And how did he occupy the rest of his time ?" 

" Monsieur, he carried on a trade, which I have always found pretty 

" What was that r" 

"As it was a time of war between the Catholics and the Huguenots, 
and as he saw the Catholics exterminate the Huguenots and the Hu- 
guenots exterminate the Catholics, and all in the name of religion, he 
adopted a mixed belief, which permitted him to be sometimes a Catholic, 
sometimes a Huguenot. Now, he was accustomed to walk, with his 
fowling-piece on his shoulder, behind the hedges which border the roads, 
and when he saw a Catholic coming alone, the Protestant religion im- 
mediately prevailed in his mind. He lowered his gun in the direction 
of the traveller ; then, when he was within ten paces of him, he com- 
menced a conversation which almost always ended by the traveller's 
abandoning his purse to save his life. I must at the same time say that 
when he saw a Huguenot coming, he felt himself urged with such an 
ardent Catholic zeal that he could not understand how, a quarter of an 
hour before, he had been able to have any doubts upon the superiority 
of our holy religion. For my part, I am, monsieur, a Catholic ; my 
father, faithful to his principles; having made my elder brother a Hu- 

"And what was the end of this worthy man?" asked D'Artagnan. 

" Oh ! of the most unfortunate kind, monsieur. One day he was sur- 
prised in a hollow way between a Huguenot and a Catholic, with both 
of whom he had before had to do, and who both knew him again ; so 
they united against him and hung him on a tree ; then they came and 
boasted of their fine exploit in the cabaret of the next village, where my 
brother and I were drinking." 

" And what did you do r" said D'Artagnan. 

" We let them tell their story out," replied Mousqueton. Then, as in 
leaving the cabaret they took different directions, my brother went and 
hid himself on the road of the Catholic, and I on that of the Huguenot. 
Two hours after, all was over ; we had done the business of both of 


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them, admiring the foresight of our poor father, who had taken the pre- 
caution to bring each of us up in a different religion." 

" Well, I must allow, as you say, your father must have been a very 
intelligent fellow. And you say in his leisure moments the worthy man 
was a poacher ?" 

" Yes, monsieur, and it was he who taught me to lay a snare and 
ground a line. The consequence is that when I saw our shabby host 
wanted to feed us upon lumps of fat meat fit for labourers, which did 
not at all suit such delicate stomachs as ours, I had recourse to a little 
of my old trade. Whilst walking near the wood of Monsieur le Prince, 
I laid a few snares in the runs ; and whilst reclining on the banks of his 
highness's pieces of water, I slipped a few lines into his fish-ponds. So 
that now, thanks be to God ! we do not want, as monsieur can testify, 
for partridges, rabbits, carp, or eels— all light, wholesome food, suitable 
for sick persons." 

" But the wine/' said D'Artagnan, u who furnishes the wine ? That, 
at least, must be your host ?" 

" That is to say yes and no." 

" How yes and no ?" 

" He furnishes it, it is true, but he does not know that he has that 

•• Explaki yourself, Mousqueton, your conversation is full of instruc- 
tive things." 

14 This is it, monsieur. It has so chanced that I met with a Spaniard 
in my peregrinations, who had seen many countries, and among them 
the New World." 

"What the deuce connection can the New World have with the 
bottles which are on the commode and the press ?" 

" Patience, monsieur, everything will come in its turn." 

" You are right, Mousqueton, I leave it to you." 

" This Spaniard had in his service a lackey who had accompanied 
him in his voyage to Mexico. This lackey was my compatriot, and we 
became the more intimate for there being many resemblances of cha- 
racter between us. We loved sporting of all kinds better than any- 
thing, so that he related to me how, in the plains of the Pampas, the 
natives hunt the tiger and the wild bull with simple running nooses, 
which they throw round the necks of those terrible animals. At first 
I would not believe that they could attain such a degree of skill as to 
throw to a distance of twenty or thirty paces the end of a cord with 
such nicety ; but in face of the proof I was obliged to acknowledge the 
truth of the recital. My friend placed a bottle at the distance of 
thirty paces, and at each cast he caught the neck of the bottle in his 
running-noose. I practised this exercise, and as nature has endowed 
me with some faculties, at this day I can throw the lasso with any 
man in the world. Well, do you understand, monsieur? Our host 
has a well-furnished cellar, the key of which never leaves him ; only 
this cellar has a loop-hole. Now, through this loop-hole I throw my 
lasso, and as I now know which part of the cellar the best wine is in. 


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that's my point for sport. Thus you see, monsieur, what the New 
World has to do with the bottles which are on the commode and the 
clothes-press. Now, will you taste our wine, and, without prejudice, say 
what you think of it ?*' 

"Thank you, my friend, thank you ; unfortunately I have just break- 

" Well," said Porthos, " arrange your table, Mousqueton, and whilst 
we breakfast, D'Artagnan will relate to us what has happened to him 
during the ten days since he left us." 

" Willingly," said D'Artagnan. 

Whilst Porthos and Mousqueton were breakfasting with the appetites 
of convalescents, and with that brotherly cordiality which unites men 
in misfortune, D'Artagnan related how Aramis, being wounded, was 
obliged to stop at Crevecoeur, how he had left Athos fighting at Amiens 
with four men who accused him of being a coiner, and how he, D'Ar- 
tagnan, had been forced to run the Count de Wardes through the body 
in order to reach England. 

But there the confidence of D'Artagnan stopped : he only added, that 
on his return from Great Britain, he had brought back four magnificent 
horses, one for himself, and one for each of his companions ; then he 
informed Porthos that the one which was intended for him was already 
installed in the stable of the hotel. 

At this moment Planchet entered, to inform his master that the 
horses were sufficiently refreshed, and that it would be possible to sleep 
at Clermont. 

As D'Artagnan was tolerably reassured with regard to Porthos, and 
as he was anxious to obtain news of his two other friends, he held out 
his hand to the wounded man, and told him he was about to resume 
his route in order to prosecute his researches. For the rest, as he 
reckoned upon returning through Chantilly, if, in seven or eight days, 
Porthos were still at the hotel of the Grand St. Martin, he would call 
for him on his way. 

Porthos replied that, according to all probability, his sprain would 
not permit him to depart yet awhile. Besides, it was necessary he should 
stay at Chantilly, to wait for the answer from his duchess. 

D'Artagnan wished that that answer might be prompt and favour- 
able ; and after having again recommended Porthos to the care of 
Mousqueton, and paid his expenses at the hotel, he resumed his route 
with Planchet, who was already relieved of one of his led horses. 



D'ARTAGNAN had said nothing to Porthos of his wound or of his 
procureuse. Our Be'arnais was a prudent lad, however young he might 
be. Consequently he had appeared to believe all that the vain-glorious 
musketeer had told him ; convinced that no friendship will hold out 


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against a surprised secret, particularly when pride is deeply interested 
in that secret ; besides, we feel always a sort of mental superiority over 
those with whose lives we are better acquainted than they are aware of. 
Now, in his projects of intrigue for the future, and determined as he 
was to make his three friends the instruments of his fortune, D'Artag- 
nan was not sorry at getting in his grasp beforehand the invisible strings 
by which he reckoned upon moving them. 

And yet, as he journeyed along, a profound sadness weighed upon 
his heart ; he thought of that young and pretty Madame Bonacieux, 
who was to have paid him so richly for all his devotedness ; but, let us 
hasten to say that this sadness possessed the young man less from the 
regret of the happiness he had missed, than from the fear he enter- 
tained that some serious misfortune had befallen the poor woman. For 
himself, he had no doubt she was a victim of the cardinal's vengeance, 
and, as was well known, the vengeance of his eminence was terrible. 
How he had found grace in the eyes of the minister, was what he him- 
self was ignorant of, but, without doubt, what M. de Cavois would have 
revealed to him, if the captain of the guards had met with him at home. 

Nothing makes time pass more quickly or more shortens a journey 
than a thought which absorbs in itself all the faculties of the organi- 
sation of him who thinks. The external existence then resembles a 
sleep of which this thought is the dream. By its influence, time has 
no longer measure, space has no longer distance. We depart from one 
place and arrive at another— that is all. Of the interval passed 
through, nothing remains in the memory but a vague mist in which 
a thousand confused images of trees, mountains, and landscapes are 
lost. It was as a prey to this hallucination that D'Artagnan travelled, 
at whatever pace his horse pleased, the six or eight leagues that sepa- 
rated Chantilly from Crevecceur, without his being able to remember, 
on his arrival in the village, any of the things he had passed or met 
with on the road. 

There only his memory returned to him, he shook his head, perceived 
the cabaret at which he had left Aramis, and putting his horse to the 
trot, he shortly pulled up at the door. 

This time it was not a host, but a hostess who received him : 
D\Artagnan was a physiognomist, his eye took in at a glance the 
plump, cheerful countenance of the mistress of the place, and he at 
once perceived there was no occasion for dissembling with her, or of 
fearing anything on the part of one blessed with such a joyous phy- 

"My good dame," asked D'Artagnan,"can you tell me what is become 
of one of my friends, whom we were obliged to leave here about twelve 
days ago ?" 

" A handsome young man, three or four and twenty years old, mild, 
amiable, and well made ?" 

" Exactly the man : wounded, moreover, in the shoulder ?" 

"Just so. — Well, monsieur, he is still here !" 

" Ah ! Pardieu ! my dear dame," said D'Artagnan, springing from his) 


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horse, and throwing the bridle to Planchet, " you restore me to life ; 
where is this dear Aramis ? let me embrace him ! I am quite anxious 
to see him again." 

u I beg your pardon, monsieur, but I doubt whether he can see you 
at this moment" 

" Why so ? Has he got a lady with him ?" 

" Jesus ! what do you mean by that ? Poor lad ! No, monsieur, he 
has not got a lady with him !" 

" With whom is he, then ?" 

u With the cure* of Montdidier and the superior of the Jesuits of 

"Good heavens !" cried D'Artagnan, " is the poor fellow worse, then?" 

" Oh ! no, monsieur, quite the contrary ; but after his illness grace 
touched him, and he determined to enter into orders. 19 

" Oh ! thafs it !" said D'Artagnan, " I had forgotten that he was only 
a musketeer for the time." 

u Is monsieur still anxious to see him ?" 

" More so than ever." 

" Well, monsieur has only to take the right-hand staircase in the 
yard and knock at No. 5, on the second floor." 

D'Artagnan walked quickly in the direction pointed out, and found 
one of those exterior staircases that are still to be seen in the yards of 
our old-fashioned auberges. But there was no getting thus at the place 
of sojourn of the future abb^ ; the defiles of the chamber of Aramis 
were neither more nor less guarded than the gardens of Armida: Bazin 
was stationed in the corridor, and barred his passage with so much the 
more intrepidity, that, after many years of trial, Bazin found himself 
near arriving at a result of which he had ever been ambitious. 

In fact, the dream of poor Bazin had always been to serve a church- 
man, and he awaited with impatience the moment, always contemplated 
in the future, when Aramis would throw aside the uniform and assume 
the cassock. The daily renewed purpose of the young man, that the 
moment would not long be delayed, had alone kept him in the service 
of a musketeer, a service in which, he said, his soul was in constant 

Bazin was then at the height of joy. According to all probability, 
this time his master would not retract. The union of physical pain 
with moral uneasiness had produced the effect so long desired ; Aramis, 
suffering at once in body and mind, had at length fixed his eyes and his 
thoughts upon religion, and he had considered as a warning from heaven 
the double accident which had happened to him, that is to say, the 
sudden disappearance of his mistress and the wound in his shoulder. 

It may be easily understood, that in the present disposition of his 
master, nothing could be more disagreeable to Bazin than the arrival of 
D'Artagnan, which might cast his master back again into that vortex of 
mundane affairs that had so long carried him away. He resolved then 
to defend the door bravely ; and as, betrayed by the mistress of the 
auberge, he could not say that Aramis was absent, he endeavoured to 


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prove to the new comer that it would be the height of indiscretion to 
disturb his master in his pious conference, which had commenced 
with the morning, and would not be, as Bazin said, terminated before 

But D'Artagnan took very little heed of the eloquent discourse ot 
Master Bazin, and as he had no desire to support a polemic discussion 
with his friend's valet, he simply moved him out of the way with one 
hand, and with the other turned the handle of the door, No. 5. 

The door opened, and D'Artagnan penetrated into the chamber. 

Aramis, in a black gown, his head enveloped in a sort of round, flat 
cap, not much unlike a calotte, was seated before an oblong table, 
covered with rolls of paper and enormous volumes in folio ; at his right 
hand was placed the superior of the Jesuits, and on his left the curl of 
Montdidier. The curtains were half drawn, and only admitted the mys- 
terious light calculated for beatific reveries. All the mundane objects 
that generally strike the eye on entering the room of a young man, par- 
ticularly when that young man is a musketeer, had disappeared as if by 
enchantment, and, for fear, no doubt, that the sight of them might bring 
his master back to ideas of this world, Bazin had laid his hands upon 
sword, pistols, plumed hat, and embroideries and laces of all kinds and 

But in their stead and place, D'Artagnan thought he perceived in an 
obscure corner a discipline cord suspended from a nail in the wall 

At the noise made by D'Artagnan in entering, Aramis lifted up his 
head and beheld his friend. But to the great astonishment of the young 
man, the sight of him did not produce much effect upon the musketeer, 
so completely was his mind detached from the things of this world. 

" Good day to you, dear D'Artagnan ; believe me, I am very glad to 
see you.*' 

" So am I delighted to see you," said D'Artagnan, " although I am 
not yet sure that it is Aramis I am speaking to." 

" To himself, my friend, to himself ! but what makes you doubt ?" 

" I was afraid I had made a mistake in the chamber, and that I had 
found my way into the apartment of some churchman ; then another 
error seized me on seeing you in company with these gentlemen— I was 
afraid you were dangerously ill." 

The two men in black, who guessed D'Artagnan's meaning, darted 
at him a glance which might have been thought threatening; but 
D'Artagnan took no heed of it. 

" I disturb you, perhaps, my dear Aramis," continued D'Artagnan, 
" for by what I see, I am led to believe you are confessing to these 

Aramis coloured imperceptibly. 

" You disturb me ! oh ! quite the contrary, dear friend, I swear ; and 
as a proof of what I say, permit me to declare I am rejoiced to see you 
safe and sound." 

" Ah ! he'll come round !" thought D'Artagnan, " that's not bad !* 

" For this gentleman, who is my friend, has just escaped from a sen- 


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Ous danger," continued Aramis with unction, pointing to D'Artagnan 
with his hand, and addressing the two ecclesiastics. 

14 Give God praise, monsieur," replied they, bowing. 

" I have not failed to do so, your reverences," replied the young man, 
returning their salutation. 

" You arrive very apropos, D'Artagnan," said Aramis, "and by taking 
part in our discussion, may assist us with your intelligence. M. lc 
Principal of Amiens, M. le Cure* of Montdidier, and I, are arguing 
upon certain theological questions, with which we have been much 
interested ; I shall be delighted to have your opinion." 

" The opinion of the man of the sword can have very little weight," 
replied D'Artagnan, who began to get uneasy at the turn things were 
taking, " and you had better be satisfied, believe me, with the know- 
ledge of these gentlemen." 

The two men in black bowed in their turn. 

" On the contrary," replied Aramis, " your opinion will be very 
valuable ; the question is this : Monsieur le Principal thinks that my 
thesis ought to be dogmatic and didactic." 

" Your thesis ! are you then making a thesis ?" 

" Without doubt," replied the Jesuit : " in the examination which 
precedes ordination, a thesis is always requisite." 

" Ordination !" cried D'Artagnan, who could not believe what the 
hostess and Bazin had successively told him ; and he gazed, half 
stupefied, upon the three persons before him. 

"Now," continued Aramis, taking the same graceful position in his 
easy chair that he would have assumed in a rttelle^ and complacently 
examining his hand, which was as white and plump as that of a woman, 
and which he held in the air to cause the blood to descend from it, 
"now, as you have heard, D'Artagnan, M. le Principal is desirous that 
my thesis should be dogmatic, whilst I, for my part, would rather it 
should be ideal. This is the reason why M. le Principal has proposed 
to me the following subject, which has not yet been treated upon, and 
in which I perceive there is matter for magnificent developments : — 
4 Utraque manus in benedicendo clcricis infer ioribus nccessaria estJ " 

D'Artagnan, whose erudition we are well acquainted with, evinced no 
more interest on hearing this quotation, than he had of that of M. dc 
TreVille, in allusion to the presents he fancied he had received from the 
Duke of Buckingham. 

" Which means," resumed Aramis, that he might perfectly under- 
stand the matter ; " * The two hands are indispensable for priests of the 
inferior orders, when they bestow the benediction. 1 " 

" An admirable subject !" cried the Jesuit. 

"Admirable and dogmatic!" repeated the curate, who, about .is 
strong as D'Artagnan with respect to Latin, carefully watched the 
Jesuit, in order to keep step with him, and repeated his words like an 

As to D'Artagnan, he remained perfectly insensible to the enthusiasm 
of the two men in black. 


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" Yes, admirable ! prorsus admirabile I " continued Aramis ; u but 
which requires a profound study of both the Scriptures and the Fathers. 
Now, I have confessed to these learned ecclesiastics, and that in all 
humility, that the duties of mounting guard and the service of the king 
have caused me to neglect study a little. I should find myself there- 
fore, more at my ease, facilius natans y in a subject of my own choice, 
which would be to these hard theological questions what morals are to 
metaphysics in philosophy." 

D'Artagnan began to be tired, and so did the curd. 

" See what an exordium !" cried the Jesuit 

" Exordium," repeated the cure*, for the sake of saying something. 
" Quemadmodum inter cctlorum immensitatem" 

Aramis cast a glance upon D'Artagnan, to see what effect all this 
produced ; and found his friend gaping enough to split his jaws. 

" Let us speak French, worthy father," said he to the Jesuit, " M. 
D'Artagnan will enjoy our conversation the more." 

" Yes," replied D Artagnan ; " I am fatigued with riding, and all this 
Latin confuses me." 

" Certainly," replied the Jesuit, a little thrown out, whilst the curd 
greatly delighted, turned upon D'Artagnan a look full of gratitude : 
44 well, let us see what is to be derived from this gloss." 

" Moses, the servant of God — he was but a servant, please to under- 
stand ! Moses blessed with the hands ; he held out both his arms, 
whilst the Hebrews beat their enemies, and then he blessed them with 
his two hands. Besides, what does the gospel say : ' Imponitc manusf 
and not i manum .* place the hands and not the hand." 

" Place the hands," repeated the curt, with the proper gesture 

" St. Peter, on the contrary, of whom the popes are the successors," 
continued the Jesuit : " * Porri&e digitos / present the fingers. Do you 
see that, now r 

" Certes," replied Aramis, in a pleased tone, " but the thing is 

•• The fingers !" resumed the Jesuit, " St. Peter blessed with the 
fingers. The pope, therefore, blesses with the fingers. And with how 
many fingers does he bless ? With three fingers, to be sure, one for the 
Father, one for the Son, and one for the Holy Ghost." 

All crossed themselves ; D'Artagnan thought it was proper to follow 
this example. 

" The pope is the successor of St. Peter, and represents the three 
divine powers ; the rest, ordines inferwres, of the ecclesiastical hier- 
archy bless in the name of the holy archangels and angels. The most 
humble clerks, such as our deacons and sacristans, bless with goupillons 
(brushes for sprinkling holy water), which resemble an infinite number 
of blessing fingers. There is the subject simplified. Argumentum omni 
denudatum ornatnento. I could make of that subject two volumes 

of the size of this " and, in his enthusiasm, he struck a St. Chrysos- 

tom in folio, which made the table bend beneath its weight 

D'Artagnan trembled. 


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u Certes," said Aramis, " I do justice to the beauties of this thesis ; 
but, at the same time, I perceive it would be overwhelming for me. I 
had chosen this text;— tell me, dear D'Artagnan,if it is not to your taste : 
' Non inutile est desiderium in oblation* / or, still better, * A little regret 
is not unsuitable in an offering to the Lord.' " 

" Stop there !" cried the Jesuit, " for that thesis touches closely Upon 
heresy : there is a proposition almost like it in the Augustinus of the 
heresiarch Jansenius, whose book will, sooner or later, be burnt by the 
hands of the hangman. Take care, my young friend ; you are inclin- 
ing towards false doctrines, my young friend, you will be lost !" 

" You will be lost," said the cure*, shaking his head sorrowfully. 

" You approach that famous point of free-will, which is a mortal rock. 
You face the insinuations of the Pelagians and the demi- Pelagians." 

" But, my reverend " replied Aramis, a little amazed by the shower 

of arguments that poured upon his head. 

" How will you prove," continued the Jesuit, without allowing him to 
speak, " that we ought to regret the world when we offer ourselves to 
God ? Listen to this dilemma : God is God, and the world is the 
devil. To regret the world is to regret the devil ; that is my conclu- 

" And, that is mine, also/' said the curd. 

" But for Heaven's sake " resumed Aramis. 

" Desideras diabolum, unhappy man," cried the Jesuit. 

" He regrets the devil ! Ah ! my young friend," added the curd, 
groaning, " do not regret the devil, I implore you 1" 

D'Artagnan felt himself bewildered ; he appeared to be in a mad- 
house, and that he was becoming as mad as those he saw. He was, 
however, forced to hold his tongue, from not comprehending half the 
language they employed. 

*' But listen to me, then," resumed Aramis, with politeness mingled 
with a little impatience. " I do not say I regret ; no, I will never pro- 
nounce that sentence, which would not be orthodox." 

The Jesuit raised his hands towards heaven, and the curate did the 

" No, but pray grant me that it is acting with an ill grace to offer to 
the Lord only that with which we are perfectly disgusted ? Don't you 
think so, D'Artagnan ?" 

" Pardieu ! I think so, indeed," cried he. 

The Jesuit and the curd quite started from their chairs. 

" This is the point I start from, it is a syllogism ; the world is not 
wanting in attractions, I quit the world, then I make a sacrifice ; now, 
the Scripture says positively, 'Make a sacrifice unto the Lord.' " 

" That is true," said his antagonists. 

" And then," said Aramis, pinching his ear, to make it red, as he 
rubbed his hands to make them white, '' and then I made a certain 
rondeau upon it last year, which I showed to M. de Voiture, and that 
great man paid me a thousand handsome compliments upon it." 

" A rondeau !" said the Jesuit, disdainfully. 


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" A rondeau !" said the cur/ ? mechanically. 

" Repeat it ! repeat it !" cried D'Artagnan ; " it will make a little* 

" Not so, for it is religious," replied Aramis ; " it is theology in 

" The devil !" said D'Artagnan. 

" Here it is," said Aramis, with a little look of diffidence, which, 
however, was not exempt from a shade of hypocrisy : 

" Vous ciui pleurez un pass*? plein dc charmcs, 
Et qui trainez des jours infortune"s, 
Tous vos malheurs sc verront terminus, 
Quand & Dieu seul vous offrirez vos larmes, 
Vous qui pleurez! 

You who weep for pleasures fled, 
Whilst dragging on a life of care. 
All your woes will melt in air, 
If at God's feet your tears you shed. 
You who weep !" 

D'Artagnan and the cure" appeared pleased. The Jesuit persisted in 
his opinion. 

" Beware of a profane taste in your theological style. What says 
Augustin on this subject : Sever us sit clericorum verbo." 

" Yes, let the sermon be clear," said the cure*. 

" Now," hastily interrupted the Jesuit, on seeing that his acolyte was 
going astray, " now, your thesis would please the ladies ; it would have 
the success of one of M. Patru's pleadings." 

" I hope to God it may !" cried Aramis, transported. 

" There it is," cried the Jesuit ; " the world still speaks within you in 
a loud voice, altissimd voce. You follow the world, my young friend, and 
I tremble lest grace prove not efficacious." 

" Be satisfied, my reverend father, I can depend upon myself." 

" Mundane presumption !" 

" I know myself, father ; my resolution is irrevocable." 

" Then you persist in continuing that thesis ?" 

" I feel myself called upon to treat that, and no other ; I will see 
about the continuation of it, and to-morrow I hope you will be satisfied 
with the corrections I shall have made in consequence of your advice." 

" Work slowly," said the cure*; " we leave you in an excellent tone of 

" Yes, the ground is all sown," said the Jesuit, " and we have not to 
fear that one portion of the seed may have fallen upon stone, another 
upon the highway, or that the birds of heaven have eaten the rest, aves 
cceli comederunt Mam." 

" Plague stifle you and your Latin !" said D'Artagnan, who began to 
feel all his patience exhausted. 

" Farewell, my son," said the curdy " till to-morrow." 

" Till to-morrow, my rash young friend," said the Jesuit " You pro- 
mise to become one of the lights of the Church ; Heaven grant that this 
li^ht prove not a devouring fire !" 


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D'Artagnan, who, for an hour past, had been gnawing his nails with 
impatience, was beginning to attack the flesh. 

The two men in black rose, bowed to Aramis and D'Artagnan, anl 
advanced towards the door. Bazin, who had been standing listening to 
all this controversy with a pious jubilation, sprang towards them, took 
the breviary of the a/r/and the missal of the Jesuit, and walked respect- 
fully before them, to clear their way. 

Aramis conducted them to the foot of the stairs, and then immedi- 
ately came up again to D'Artagnan, whose senses were still in a state 
of confusion. 

When left alone, the two friends at first observed an embarrassed 
silence ; it, however, became necessary for one of them to break it the 
first, and as D'Artagnan appeared determined to leave that honour to 
his companion — 

" You see," said Aramis, " that I am returned to my original ideas." 

u Yes ; efficacious grace has touched you, as that gentleman said 
just now." 

u Oh, these plans of retreat have been formed for a long time ; you 
have often heard me speak of them, have you not, my friend ?" 

" Yes ; but I must confess that I always thought you were joking." 

" With such sort of things ! Oh, D'Artagnan !" 

"The devil ! Why, people ioke with death." 

" And people are wrong, D Artagnan ; for death is the door which 
leads to perdition or to salvation." 

" Granted ; but, if you please, let us not theologise, Aramis ; you 
must have had enough for to-day ; as for me, I have almost forgotten 
the little Latin I have ever known. Then I confess to you that I 
have eaten nothing since ten o'clock this morning, and I am devilish 

" We will dine directly, my friend ; only you must please to remember 
that this is Friday : now, on such a day I cannot eat meat or see it 
eaten. If you can be satisfied with my dinner, it consists of cooked 
tetragones and fruits." 

" What do you mean by tetragones ?" asked D'Artagnan, eagerly. 

" I mean spinach," replied Aramis ; " but, on your account, I will add 
some eggs, and that is a serious infraction of the rule, for eggs are 
meat, since they engender chickens." 

*' This feast is not very succulent ; but never mind, I will put up with 
it for the sake of remaining with you." 

" I am grateful to you for the sacrifice" said Aramis ; " but if your 
body be not greatly benefited by it, your soul will, be assured." 

" And so, Aramis, you are decidedly going into the church ? What 
will our two friends say ? What will M. de TreVille say ? They will 
treat you as a deserter, I warn you." 

" I do not enter the church — I re-enter it ; I deserted the church for 
the world, for you know that I committed violence upon myself when 
I became a musketeer." 

" Who— I ? I know nothing about it" 



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" You don't know how I quitted the seminary ?" 

" Not at alL" 

" This is my history, then ; besides, the Scriptures say, ' Confess your- 
selves to one another/ and I confess to you, D'Artagnan." 

"And I give you absolution beforehand ; you see, I am a good sort 
of a man." 

" Do not jest with holy things, my friend." 

li Go on, then ; I'll listen." 

" I had been at the seminary from nine years old ; in three days I 
should have been twenty ; I was about to become an abbe*, and all was 

" One evening, I had gone, according to custom, to a house which I 
frequented with much pleasure ; when one is young, what can be ex- 
pected ?— one is weak. An officer who saw me, with a jealous eye, reading 
the * Lives of the Saints' to the mistress of the house, entered suddenly, 
and without being announced. That evening I had translated an 
episode of Judith, and had just communicated my verses to the lady, 
who made me all sorts of compliments, and, leaning on my shoulder, 
was reading them a second time. Ylzt pose, which, I must admit, was 
rather free, wounded this gentleman's feelings. He said nothing, but 
when I went out he followed, and quickly came up with me. 

" 4 Monsieur 1'AbbeV said he, * do you like blows with a cane f 

" ' I cannot say, monsieur,' answered I ; ' no one has ever dared to 
give me any.' 

" * Well, listen to me, then, Monsieur l'Abbe* : if you venture again 
into the house in which I have met you this evening, I will dare, myself. 
Monsieur 1'AbbeV 

u I really think I must have been frightened ; I became very pale, 
I felt my legs fail me, I sought for a reply, but could find none— I was 

" The officer waited for this reply, and, seeing it so long coming, he 
burst into a laugh, turned upon his heel, and re-entered the house. 

" I returned to my seminary. 

" I am a gentleman born — my blood is warm, as you may have re- 
marked, my dear D'Artagnan ; the insult was terrible, and, however 
unknown to the rest of the world, I felt it live and fester at the bottom 
of my heart I informed my superiors that I did not feel myself suffi- 
ciently prepared for ordination, and, at my request, the ceremony was 
postponed for a year. 

" I sought out the best fencing-master in Paris ; I made an agreement 
with him to take aiesson every day, and every day during a year I took 
that lesson. Then, on the anniversary of the day on which I had been 
insulted, I hung my cassock on a peg, assumed the costume of a cavalier, 
and went to a ball given by a lady friend of mine, and to which I knew 
my man was invited. It was Rue des Francs- Bourgeois, close to La 

" As I expected, my officer was there. I went up to him, as he was 
singing a love ditty and looking tenderly at a lady, and interrupted him 
exactly in the middle of the second couplet. 


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"'Monsieur/ said I, i is it still unpleasant to you that I should fre- 
quent a certain house of La Rue Payenne ? And would you still bestow 
a caning upon me if I took it into my head to disobey you ?' 

" The officer looked at me with astonishment, and then said : 

" ' What is your business with me, monsieur ? I do not know you.' 

" ' I am/ said I, * the little abbe*, who reads the " Lives of the Saints," 
and translates Judith into verse.' 

•' * Ah, ah ! I recollect now/ said the officer, in a jeering tone ; ' well, 
what do you want with me ? 

" ' I want you to spare time to take a walk with me.' 

" l To-morrow morning, if you like, and with the greatest pleasure. 

" • No, not to-morrow morning, but immediately, if you please.' 

" ' If you absolutely insist upon it ' 

" ' I do— I insist upon it/ 

" ' Come, then. Ladies/ said the officer, ' do not disturb yourselves ; 
allow me time just to kill this gentleman, and I will return and finish 
the last couplet 

" We went out. I took him to the Rue Payenne, to exactly the same 
spot where, a year before, at the very same hour, he had paid me the 
compliment I have related to you. It was a superb moonlight night. 
We immediately drew, and at the first pass I laid him stark dead." 

" The devil !" cried D'Artagnan. 

" Now," continued Aramis, " as the ladies did not see the singer come 
back, and as he was found in the Rue Payenne, with a great sword- 
wound through his body, it was supposed that I had accommodated him 
thus, and the matter created some scandal, which obliged me to renounce 
the cassock for a time. Athos, whose acquaintance I made about that 
period, and Porthos, who had, in addition to my lessons, taught me 
some effective tricks of fence, prevailed upon me to solicit the uniform 
of a musketeer. The king entertained great regard for my father, who 
had fallen at the siege of Arras, and the uniform was granted. You 
may understand that the moment is arrived for me to re-enter into the 
bosom of the church." 

" And why to-day, rather than yesterday, or to-morrow ? What has 
happened to you to-day, to create all these melancholy ideas ?'' 

" This wound, my dear D'Artagnan, has been a warning to me from 

" This wound ? Bah ! it is nearly healed, and I am sure that it is not 
that which at the present moment gives you the most pain." 

" What do you think it is, then r said Aramis, blushing. 

" You have one in your heart, Aramis, one deeper and more painful, 
a wound made by a woman." 

The eye of Aramis kindled, in spite of himself. 

" Ah," said he, dissembling his emotion under a feigned carelessness, 
" do not talk of such things. What ! I think of such things, and suffer 
love-pains ? Vanitas vanitatum ! According to your idea, then, my 
brain is turned ! And for whom ?— for some grisette, some fille-de- 
chambre, with whom I have trifled in some garrison ! Fie 1" 



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"I crave your pardon, my dear Aramis, but I thought you aimed 

" Higher ? And who am I, to nourish such ambition ?— a poor mus- 
keteer, a beggar and unknown, who hates slavery, and finds himself 
ill-placed in the world." 

" Aramis, Aramis !" cried D'Artagnan, looking at his friend with an 
air of doubt. 

" Dust I am, and to dust I return. Life is full of humiliations and 
sorrows/' continued he, becoming still more melancholy ; "all the ties 
which attach him to life break in the hand of man, particularly the 
golden ties. Oh, my dear D'Artagnan," resumed Aramis, giving to his 
voice a slight tone of bitterness*" trust me, conceal your wounds when 
you have any ; silence is the last joy of the unhappy. Beware of giving 
any one the clue to your griefs ; the curious suck our tears as flies suck 
the blood of a wounded hart." 

" Alas ! my dear Aramis/' said D'Artagnan, in his turn heaving a 
profound sigh, " that is my history you are relating !" 

" How r 

" Yes ; a woman whom I love, whom I adore, has just been torn from 
me by force. I do not know where she is ; I have no means of ascer- 
taining where she has been taken to. She is perhaps a prisoner ; she 
is perhaps dead !" 

"Yes, but you have at least this consolation, that you can say to 
yourself she has not quitted you voluntarily ; that if you learn no 
news of her, it is because all communication with you is interdicted : 
whilst I " 

" Whilst what ?" 

" Nothing," replied Aramis, " nothing." 

" So you renounce the world, then, for ever ; that is a settled thing ; 
a resolution decreed ?" 

" For ever ! You are my friend to-day, to-morrow you will be no 
more to me than a shadow ; or rather, even, you will no longer exist for 
me. As for the world, it is a sepulchre, and nothing else." 

" The devil ! All this is very sad." 

" What is to be said ? My vocation commands me, it carries me 
away." D'Artagnan smiled, but made no answer. Aramis continued : 

" And yet, whilst I do belong to the earth, I should wish to speak of 
you and of our friends." 

" And on my part," said D'Artagnan, " I should have wished to speak 
of you, but I find you so completely detached from everything ! Love 
you cry fie upon ! friends are shadows ! the world is a sepulchre !" 

" Alas ! you will find it so yourself," said Aramis, with a sigh. 

i( Well, then let us say no more about it," said D'Artagnan ; " and let 
us burn this letter, which, no doubt, announces to you some fresh infi- 
delity of your grisette or your fille-de-chambre." 

" What letter ?" cried Aramis, eagerly. 

" A letter which was sent to your abode in your absence, and which 
was given to me for you." 


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" But from whom is that letter ?" 

" Oh ! from some heart-broken waiting-woman, some desponding 
grisette ; from Madame de Chevreuse's fille-de-chambre, perhaps, who 
was obliged to return to Tours with her mistress, and who, in order to 
appear smart and attractive, stole some perfumed paper, and sealed her 
letter with a duchess's coronet" 

"What do you say?" 

" Well ! I really think I must have lost it," said the young man, 
maliciously, whilst pretending to search for it. " But fortunately the 
world is a sepulchre ; the men, and consequently the women, are but 
shadows, and love is a sentiment upon which you cry fie ! fie !" 

" D'Artagnan ! D'Artagnan !" cried Aramis, " you are killing me !" 

"Well ! here it is at last !" said D'Artagnan, as he drew the letter from 
his pocket. 

Aramis sprang towards him, seized the letter, read it, or rather 
devoured it, his countenance absolutely beaming with delight. 

" This same waiting-maid seems to have an agreeable style," said the 
messenger, carelessly. 

"Thanks, D'Artagnan, thanks !* cried Aramis, almost in a state of 
delirium. "She was forced to return to Tours ; she is not faithless ; she 
still loves me ! Dear friend, let me embrace you ; happiness almost 
stifles me!" 

And the two friends began to dance round the venerable St. Chry- 
sostom, kicking about famously the sheets of the thesis, which had 
fallen on the floor. 

At that moment Bazin entered with the spinach and the omelette. 

" Be off, you scoundrel !" cried Aramis, throwing his calotte in his 
face ; "return to whence you came ; take back those horrible vegetables, 
and that poor kickshaw ! Order a larded hare, a fat capon, a gigot d Vail 
and four bottles of the best old Burgundy !" 

Bazin, who looked at his master, without comprehending the cause of 
this change, in a melancholy manner, allowed the omelette to slip into 
the spinach, and the spinach on to the floor. 

" Now is the moment to consecrate your existence to the King of 
Kings," said D'Artagnan, " if you persistin offering him a civility. Non 
inutile desiderium oblatione? 

" Get to the devil with your Latin. Let us drink, my dear D'Artagnan, 
morbleu! let us drink while the wine is fresh, let us drink heartily, and 
whilst we do so, tell me something about what is doing in the world 



" Well, we have now to search for Athos," said D'Artagnan to the 
vivacious Aramis, when he had informed him of all that had passed 
since their departure from the capital, and that a good dinner had made 
one of them forget his thesis and the other his fatigue. 


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" Do you think, then, that any harm can have happened to him ?* 
asked Aramis. " Athos is so cool, so brave, and handles his sword so 

" There is no doubt of all that ; nobody has a higher opinion of the 
courage and skill of Athos than I have ; but I like better to hear my 
sword clang against lances than against staves : I fear lest Athos should 
have been beaten down by a mob of serving-men : those fellows strike 
hard, and don't leave off in a hurry. This is my reason for wishing to 
set out again as soon as I possibly can." 

" I will try to accompany vou," said Aramis, " though I scarcely feel 
in a condition to mount on horseback. Yesterday I undertook to em- 
ploy that cord which you see hanging against the wall, but pain pre- 
vented my continuing the pious exercise." 

"That's the first time I ever heard of anybody trying to cure gun-shot 
wounds with a cat-o'-nine-tails ; but you were ill, and illness renders the 
head weak ; therefore you may be excused." 

" When do you mean to set out ?" 

u To-morrow, at daybreak : sleep as soundly as you can to-night, and 
to-morrow, if you are strong enough, we will take our departure to- 

u Till to-morrow, then," said Aramis ; " for, iron-nerved as you are, 
you must stand in need of repose." 

The next morning, when D'Artagnan entered Aramis's chamber, he 
found him standing at the window. 

" What are you looking at there V* asked D'Artagnan. 

" Ma foi ! I am admiring three magnificent horses which the stable 
lads are leading about : it would be a pleasure worthy of a prince to 
travel upon such horses." 

" Well, my dear Aramis, you may enjoy that pleasure, for one of those 
three horses is yours." 

" Ah ! bah ! which of them ?" 

"Which of the three you like, I have no preference." 

" And the rich caparison, is that mine too ?" 

" Without doubt it is." 

u You are laughing/ D'Artagnan." 

M No ; I have left off laughing now you speak French again." 

44 What, those rich holsters, that velvet housing, that saddle studded 
with silver, are they al lmine ?" 

'* Yours, and nobody else's, as the horse which is pawing the ground 
in eagerness is mine, and the other horse which is caracoling belongs 
to Athos." 

" Peste ! they are three superb animals !" 

M I am glad they please you." 

" Why, it must have been the king who made you such a present ?" 

" To a certainty, it was not the cardinal ; but don't trouble yourself 
about where they come from, be satisfied that one of them is your pro- 
,, " I choose that which the red-headed boy is leading." 


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14 Have it then." 

44 Vive Dieu ! That is enough to drive away all my pains ; I could 
ride upon him with thirty balls in my body. What handsome stirrups ! 
Hola ! Bazin, come here this minute.' 1 

Bazin made his appearance at the door, dull and spiritless. 

41 Furbish my sword, put my hat to rights, brush my cloak, and load 
toy pistols !" said Aram is. 

44 That last order is useless," interrupted D'Artagnan : " there are 
loaded pistols in your holsters. 

Bazin sighed. 

44 Come, master Bazin, make yourself easy ; people gain the kingdom 
of Heaven in all conditions of life." 

44 Monsieur was already such a good theologian," said Bazin, almost 
weeping ; " he might have become a bishop, perhaps a cardinal." 

44 Well ! but my poor Bazin, reflect a little ; of what use is it to be a 
churchman, pray ? You do not avoid going to war by that means ; you 
see the cardinal is about to make the next campaign, helm on head and 
partisan in hand ; and M. de Nogaret de la Valette, what do you say of 
him ? he is a cardinal likewise ; ask his lackey how often he has had to 
prepare lint for him." 

"Alas !" signed Bazin, " I very well know, monsieur, that everything 
is turned topsy-turvy in the world now-a-days." 

Whilst this dialogue was going on, the two young men and the poor 
lackey went down into the yard. 

44 Hold my stirrup, Bazin," cried Aramis. 

And Aramis sprang into his saddle with his usual grace and light- 
ness ; but, after a few vaults and curvets of the noble animal, his rider 
felt his pains come on so insupportably, that he turned pale, and be- 
came unsteady in his seat. D'Artagnan, who, foreseeing such an event, 
had kept his eye on him, sprang towards him, caught him in his arms, 
and assisted him to his chamber. 

" That's well, my dear Aramis, take care of yourself,* said he, 4I I will 
go alone in search of Athos." 

14 You are a man of brass," replied Arainis. 

44 No : I have good luck, that is all ; but how do you mean to pass 
your time till I come back ? no more theses, no more glosses upon the 
fingers, or upon benedictions, hem 1" 

Aramis smiled : " I will make verses," said he. 

44 Yes, I dare say ; verses perfumed with the odour of the billet from 
the attendant of Madame de Chevreuse. Teach Bazin prosody, that 
will console him. As to the horse, ride him a little every day, till you 
become accustomed to him and recover your strength." 

44 Oh ! make yourself easy on that head," replied Aramis, u you will 
find me ready to follow you." 

They took leave of each other, and in ten minutes, after commending 
his friend to the cares of the hostess and Bazin, D'Artagnan was trotting 
along in the direction of Amiens. 

How was lie going to find Athos, even should he find him at all ? 


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The position in which he had left him was critical ; he might, very pro- 
bably, have succumbed. This idea, whilst darkening his brow, drew 
several sighs from him, and caused him to formulate to himself a, few 
vows of vengeance. Of all his friends, Athos was the eldest, and the 
least resembling him in appearance, in his tastes and sympathies. 
And yet he entertained a marked preference for this gentleman. The 
noble and distinguished air of Athos, those flashes of greatness, which 
from time to time broke out from the shade in which he voluntarily 
kept himself, that unalterable equality of temper which made him the 
most pleasant companion in the world, that forced and malign gaiety, 
that bravery which might have been termed blind if it had not been 
the result of the rarest coolness, — such aualities attracted more than 
the esteem, more than the friendship of D Artagnan, they attracted his 

Indeed, when placed beside M. de Trdville, the elegant and noble 
courtier, Athos, in his most cheerful days, might advantageously sus- 
tain a comparison : he was but of middle height ; but his person was 
so admirably shaped, and so well proportioned, that more than once, 
in his struggles with Porthos, he had overcome the giant whose physical 
strength was proverbial amongst the musketeers : his head, with piercing 
eyes, a straight nose, a chin cut like that of Brutus, — had altogether 
an indefinable character of grandeur and grace ; his hands, of which he 
took little care, were the envy of Aramis, who cultivated his with almond 
paste and perfumed oil ; the sound of his voice was at once penetrating 
and melodious, and then, that which was inconceivable in Athos, who 
was always retiring, was that delicate knowledge of the world, and of 
the usages of the most brilliant society, those manners of a high family 
which appeared, as if unconsciously to himself, in his least actions. 

If a repast were on foot, Athos presided over it better than any other, 
placing every guest exactly in the rank which his ancestors had earned 
for him, or that he had made for himself. If a question in heraldry 
were started, Athos knew all the noble families of the kingdom, their 
genealogy, their alliances, their arms, and the origin of their arms. 
Etiquette had no minutiae which were unknown to him ; he knew what 
were the rights of the great landowners ; he was profoundly versed in 
venery and falconry, and had, one day, when conversing on this great 
art, astonished even Louis XIII. himself, who took a pride in being con- 
sidered a past-master in it 

Like all the great nobles of that period, he rode and fenced to perfec- 
tion. But still further, his education had been so little neglected, even 
with respect to scholastic studies, so rare at this time among gentlemen, 
that he smiled at the scraps of Latin which Aramis sported, and which 
Porthos pretended to understand ; twice or thrice even, to the great 
astonishment of his friends, he had, when Aramis allowed some rudi- 
mental error to escape him, replaced a verb in its right tense and a 
noun in its case ; besides all which, his probity was irreproachable, in 
an age in which soldiers compounded so easily with their religion and 
their consciences, lovers with the rigorous delicacy of our days, and the 


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poor with God's seventh commandment. This Athos, then, was a very 
extraordinary man. 

And yet this nature so distinguished, this creature so beautiful, this 
essence so fine, was seen to turn insensibly towards material life, as old 
men turn towards physical and moral imbecility. Athos in his hours 
of privation — and these hours were frequent — was extinguished as to 
the whole of the luminous portion of him, and his brilliant side disap- 
peared as if in profound darkness. 

Then the demi-god having vanished, he remained scarcely a man. 
His head hanging down — his eye dull — his speech slow and painful, 
Athos would look for hours together at his bottle, his glass, or at Gri- 
maud, who, accustomed to obey him by signs, read in the faint glance 
of his master his least desire, and satisfied it immediately. If the four 
friends were assembled at one of these moments, a word, thrown forth 
occasionally with a violent effort, was the share Athos furnished to the 
conversation. In exchange for his silence, Athos alone drank enough 
for four, and without appearing to be otherwise affected by wine, than 
by a more marked contraction of the brow, and by a deeper sadness. 

D'Artagnan, whose inquiring disposition we are acquainted with, had 
not — whatever interest he had in satisfying his curiosity on this subject 
— been able to assign any cause for these fits, or for the periods of their 
recurrence. Athos never received any letters, Athos never had con- 
cerns with which all his friends were unacquainted. 

It could not be said that it was wine which produced this sadness, 
for, in truth, he only drank to combat this sadness, which wine only, 
as we have said, rendered still darker. This excess of bilious humour 
could not be attributed to play, for, unlike Porthos, who accompanied 
the variations of chance with songs or oaths, Athos, when he had won, 
remained as impassible as when he had lost. He had been known, 
in the circle of the musketeers, to win in one night three thousand 
pistoles ; lose to the gold embroidered belt of gala days ; re-win all 
this, with the addition of a hundred louis, without his beautiful eyebrow 
being heightened or lowered half a line, without his hands losing their 
pearly hue, without his conversation, which was cheerful that evening, 
ceasing for a moment to be calm and agreeable. 

Neither was it, as with our neighbours the English, an atmospheric 
influence which darkened his countenance, for the sadness generally 
became more intense towards the fine season of the year : June and 
July were the terrible months with Athos. 

On account of the present he had no care, he shrugged his shoulders 
when people spoke of the future ; his secret then was with the past, as 
D'Artagnan had often vaguely said. 

This mysterious shade spread over his whole person, rendered still 
more interesting the man whose eyes or mouth had never, even in the 
most complete intoxication, revealed anything, however skilfully ques- 
tions had been put to him. 

" Well," thought D'Artagnan, " poor Athos is perhaps at this moment 
dead, and dead by my fault, for it was I who dragged him into this 


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affair, of which he did not know the origin, of which he will be ignor- 
ant of the result, and from which he can derive no advantage." 

"Without reckoning, monsieur," added Planchet to his master's 
audibly expressed reflections, " that we perhaps owe our lives to him. 
Do you remember how he cried : ' On, D'Artagnan ! on ! I am taken ? 
And when he had discharged his two pistols, what a terrible noise he 
made with his sword ! One might have said that twenty men, or rather 
twenty mad devils, were fighting." 

And these words redoubled the eagerness of D'Artagnan, who excited 
his horse, which stood in need of no excitement, and they proceeded 
at a rapid pace. About eleven o'clock in the morning they perceived 
Amiens, and at half-past eleven they were at the door of the cursed 

D'Artagnan had often meditated against the perfidious host one of 
those hearty vengeances which offer consolation whilst being hoped 
for. He entered the hostelry with his hat pulled over his eyes, his left 
hand on the pummel of the sword, and cracking his whip with his right 

" Do you remember me ?" said he to the host, who advanced, bowing, 
towards him. 

" I have not that honour, monseigneur," replied the latter, his eyes 
being dazzled by the brilliant style in which D'Artagnan travelled. 

" What ! do you mean to say you don't knjDw me ?" 

" No, monseigneur." 

" Well ! two words will refresh your memory. What have you done 
with that gentleman against whom you had the audacity, about twelve 
days ago, to make an accusation of passing bad money ?" 

The host became as pale as death ; D'Artagnan having assumed a 
threatening attitude, and Planchet having modelled himself upon his 

" Ah ! monseigneur ! do not mention it,* cried the host, in the most 
pitiable voice imaginable ; " ah ! seigneur, how dearly have I paid for 
that fault ! Unhappy wretch as I am !" 

" That gentleman, I say, what is become of him ?" 

" Deign to listen to me, monseigneur, and be merciful ! Sit down, 
I beg !" 

D'Artagnan, mute with anger and uneasiness, took a seat in the 
threatening attitude of a judge ; Planchet looking fiercely over the 
back of \C\sfauteuiL 

" Here is the history, monseigneur," resumed the trembling host, "for 
I now recollect you : it was you who rode off at the moment I had that 
unfortunate difference with the gentleman you speak of." 

"Yes, it was I ; so you may plainly perceive that you have no mercy 
to expect if you do not tell me the whole truth." 

" Condescend to listen to me, and you shall know it all." 

" I am listening to you." 

" I had been warned by the authorities that a celebrated coiner of 
bad money would arrive at my auberge, with several of his companions, 


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all disguised as guards or musketeers. I was furnished with a de- 
scription of your horses, your lackeys, your countenances, — nothing 
was omitted. " 

" Go on ! go on !" said D'Artagnan. who quickly conceived whence 
such an exact description had come. 

" I took then, in conformity with the orders of the authorities, who 
sent me a reinforcement of six men, such measures as I thought neces- 
sary to get possession of the persons of the pretended coiners." 

"Again r said D'Artagnan, whose ears were terribly wounded by 
the repetition of this word cowers. 

" Pardon me, monseigneur, for saying such things, but they form my 
excuse. The authorities had terrified me, and you know that an auber- 
giste must keep on good terms with the authorities." 

" But, once again, that gentleman, where is he ? What is become of 
him ? is he dead ? is he living ?" 

" Patience, monseigneur, we are coming to it. There happened then 
that which you know, and of which your precipitate departure," added 
the host, with a finesse that did not escape D'Artagnan, " appeared to 
authorise the issue. That gentleman, your friend, defended himself 
desperately. His lackey, who, by an unforeseen piece of ill-luck, had 
quarrelled with the people belonging to the authorities, disguised as 
stable-lads " 

" Miserable scoundrel !" cried D'Artagnan, " you were all in the plot 
then ! and I really don't know what prevents me from exterminating 
you all !" 

" Alas ! monsieur, you will soon see we were not so. Monsieur, your 
friend (I ask pardon for not calling him by the honourable name which 
no doubt he bears, but we do not know that name), monsieur, 
your friend, having placed two men hors de combat with his pistols, 
retreated fighting with his sword, with which he disabled one of my 
men, and stunned me with a blow of the flat side of it." 

" But, you infernal villain ! when will you come to the end ?" cried 
D'Artagnan ; " Athos, what is become of Athos ?" 

"Whilst fighting and retreating, as I have told monseigneur, he 
found the door of the cellar stairs behind him, and as the door was open, 
he took out the key, and barricaded himself inside. As we were sure 
of finding him there, we left him alone." 

" Yes," said D'Artagnan, " you did not particularly wish to kill him, 
and so were satisfied with detaining him a prisoner." 

" Good God ! a prisoner, monseigneur ? Why, he imprisoned him- 
self, and I will be upon my oath, he did. In the first place he had made 
rough work of it ; one man was killed on the spot, and two others were 
severely wounded. The dead man, and the two that were wounded, 
were carried off by their companions, and I have heard nothing of either 
the one or the other since. As for myself, as soon as I recovered my 
senses. I went to M. the governor, to whom I related all that had 
passed, and whom I asked what I should do with my prisoner. But 
M. the governor was all astonishment ; he told me he knew nothing 


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about the matter, that the orders I had received did not come from him, 
and that if I had the audacity to mention his name as being concerned 
in this disturbance he would have me hanged. It appears that I made a 
mistake, monsieur, that I had arrested the wrong person, and that he 
whom I ought to have arrested had escaped. " 

" But Athos !" cried D'Artagnan, whose impatience was increased 
by the state of abandonment in which the authorities left the matter ; 
" Athos ! where is he ?" 

" As I was anxious to repair the wrongs I had done the prisoner," 
resumed the aubergiste, " I took my way straight to the cellar, in order 
to set him at liberty. Ah ! monsieur, he was no longer a man, he was 
a devil ! To my offer of liberty, he replied that it was nothing but a 
snare, and that before he came out he intended to impose his own con- 
ditions. I told him, very humbly — for I could not conceal from myself 
the scrape I had got into by laying hands on one of his majesty's mus- 
keteers — I told him I was quite ready to submit to his conditions. * 

" * In the first place,' said he, * I insist upon having my lackey placed 
with me, fully armed.' We hastened to obey this order ; for you will 
please to understand, monsieur, we were disposed to do everything your 
friend could desire. M. Grimaud (he told us his name, he did, 
although he does not talk much), M. Grimaud, then, went down to the 
cellar, wounded as he was ; then his master, having received him, barri- 
caded the door afresh, and ordered us to remain quietly in our own 

" Well, but where is Athos now?" cried D'Artagnan. 

"In the cellar, monsieur." 

"What! you good-for-nothing scoundrel ! What! have you kept 
him in the cellar all this time?" 

" Merciful heaven ! No, monsieur ! We keep him in the cellar ! 
You do not know what he is about in the cellar ! Ah ! if you could but 
persuade him to come out, monsieur, I should owe you the gratitude of 
my whole life ; I should adore you as my patron saint !" 

" Then he is there ? I shall find him there ?" 

" Without doubt you will, monsieur ; he persists in remaining there. 
We every day pass through the loop-hole some bread at the end of a 
fork, and some meat when he asks for it ; but alas ! it is not of bread 
and meat that he makes the greatest consumption. I once endeavoured 
to go down with two of my servants, but he flew into a terrible rage. I 
heard the noise he made in loading his pistols, and his servant in 
loading his musketoon. Then, when we asked them what were their 
intentions, the master replied that he had forty charges to fire, and 
that he and his lackey would fire to the last one, before he would allow 
a single soul of us to set foot in the cellar. Upon this I went and com- 
plained to the governor, who replied, that I only had what I deserved, 
and that it would teach me to insult honourable gentlemen who took 
up their abode in my house." 

" So that from that time " replied D'Artagnan, totally unable to 

refrain from laughing at the pitiable face of the host. 


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" So that from that time, monsieur," continued the latter, " we have 
led the most miserable life imaginable ; for you must know, monsieur, 
that all our provisions are in the cellar ; there is our wine in bottles, 
and our wine in the piece ; beer, oil, grocery, bacon, and large sausages ; 
and as we are prevented from going down, we are forced to refuse food 
and drink to the travellers who come to the house, so that our hostelry 
is daily going to ruin. If your friend remains another week in my 
cellar I shall be a ruined man." 

"And not more than justice, neither, you stupid man ; could you not 
perceive by our appearance that we were people of quality, and not 
coiners, — say ?" 

" Yes, monsieur, you are right," said the host. " But, hark ! hark ! 
there he is in a passion again !" 

" Somebody has disturbed him, no doubt," said D'Artagnan. 

" But he must be disturbed," cried the host ; " here are two English 
gentlemen just arrived." 


" Well ! the English like good wine, as you may know, monsieur ; 
these have asked for the best. My wife then requested permission of 
M. Athos to go into the cellar to satisfy these gentlemen ; and he, as 
usual, has refused. Ah ! good heaven ! there is the Sabbath louder 
than ever!" 

D'Artagnan, in fact, heard a great noise on the side next the cellar. 
He rose, and, preceded by the host, wringing his hands, and followed 
by Planchet with his musketoon, ready for action, he approached the 
scene of action. 

The two gentlemen were exasperated ; they had had a long ride, and 
were dying with hunger and thirst 

" But this is a tyranny !" cried one of them, in very good French, 
though with a foreign accent, " that this madman will not allow these 
good people access to their own wine ! Nonsense ! let us break open 
the door, and if he is too far gone in his madness, well ! we will kill 
him !" 

" Softly, gentlemen !" said D'Artagnan, drawing his pistols from his 
belt, ."there is nobody to be killed, if you please !" 

" Good ! good !" cried Athos, from the other side of the door, " let 
them just come in, these devourers of little children, and we shall see !" 

Brave as they appeared to be, the two English gentlemen looked at 
each other hesitatingly ; it might be said that there was in that cellar 
one of those hungry ogres, the gigantic heroes of popular legends, into 
whose cavern nobody could force their way with impunity. 

There was a moment of silence ; but at length the two Englishmen 
felt ashamed to draw back, and the more angry one descended the five 
or six steps which led to the cellar, and gave a kick against the door 
enough to split a wall. 

" Planchet," said D'Artagnan, cocking his pistols, " I will take charge 
of the one at the top, you look to the one below. Now, gentlemen, if 
it's battle you want, you shall have it." 


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" Good God !" cried the hollow voice of Athos, " I can hear D'Artag- 
nan, I think." 

" Yes !" cried D'Artagnan, exalting his voice, in his turn, " I am 
here, my friend !" 

" Ah ! ah ! then," replied Athos, " we will give it to these breakers-in 
of doors!" 

The gentlemen had drawn their swords, but they found themselves 
taken between two fires ; they still hesitated an instant ; but, as before, 
pride prevailed, and a second kick split the door from bottom to top. 

" Stand on one side, D'Artagnan, stand on one side," cried Athos, " I 
am going to fire !" 

" Gentlemen !" exclaimed D'Artagnan, whom reflection never aban- 
doned, " gentlemen, think of what you are about ! Patience, Athos ! 
You are running your heads into a very silly affair ; you will be riddled. 
My lackey and I will have three shots at you, and you will get as many 
from the cellar ; you will then have our swords, with which, I can 
assure you, my friend and I can play tolerably well. Let me conduct 
your business and my own. You shall soon have something to drink ; 
I give you my word" 

" If there is any left," grumbled the jeering voice of Athos. 

The host felt a cold sweat creep down his back. 

" What ! if there is any left !" murmured he. 

" What, the devil ! there must be plenty left," replied D'Artagnan : 
" be satisfied of that ; these two can never have drunk all the cellar. 
Qentlemen, return your swords to their scabbards." 

" We will, provided you replace your pistols in your belt" 

" Willingly." 

And D'Artagnan set the example. Then turning towards Planchet, 
he made him a sign to uncock his musketoon. 

The Englishmen, overcome by these peaceful proceedings, sheathed 
their swords, grumblingly. The history of Athos's imprisonment was 
then related to them ; and as they were really gentlemen, they pro- 
nounced the host in the wrong. 

" Now, gentlemen," said D'Artagnan, " go up to your room again ; 
and in ten minutes, I will answer for it, you shall have all you 

The Englishmen bowed, and went upstairs. 

" Now I am alone, my dear Athos," said D'Artagnan, " open the door, 
I beg of you." 

" Instantly," said Athos. 

Then was heard a great noise of fagots being removed, and of the 
groaning of posts ; these were the counterscarps and bastions of Athos, 
which the besieged demolished himself. 

An instant after, the broken door was removed, and the pale face of 
Athos appeared, who with a rapid glance took a survey of the environs. 

D'Artagnan threw himself on his neck and embraced him tenderly ; 
he then endeavoured to draw him from his moist abode, but, to his sur- 
prise, perceived that Athos staggered. 

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" Why, you are wounded ?" said he. 

" I ! not at all ; I am dead drunk, that's all, and never did a man set 
about getting so better. Vive dieu ! my good host ! I must at least 
have drunk for my part a hundred and fifty bottles." 

" Misericorde !" cried the host, " if the lackey has drunk only half as 
much as the master, I am a ruined man." 

" Grimaud is a well-bred lackey ; he would never think of faring in 
the same manner as his master ; he only drank from the butt : hark ! I 
don't think he put the fosset in again. Do you hear it ? It is running 

D'Artagnan burst into a loud laugh, which changed the trembling 
of the host into a burning fever. 

In the meantime, Grimaud appeared in his turn behind his master, 
with his musketoon on his shoulder, and his head shaking like one of 
those drunken satyrs in the pictures of Rubens. He was moistened 
before and behind with a liquid which the host recognised as his best 
olive oil 

The cortige crossed the public room and proceeded to take possession 
of the best apartment in the house, which D'Artagnan occupied by 

In the meantime the host and his wife hurried down with lamps into 
the cellar, which had so long been interdicted to them, and where a 
frightful spectacle awaited them. 

Beyond the fortifications through which Athos had made a breach in 
order to get out, and which were composed of fagots, planks, and empty 
casks, heaped up according to all the rules of the strategic art, they 
found, swimming in puddles of oil and wine, the bones and fragments 
of all the hams they had eaten ; whilst a heap of broken bottles filled 
the whole left-hand corner of the cellar, and a tun, the cock of which 
was left running, was yielding, by this means, the last drop of its blood. • 
"The image of devastation and death," as the ancient poet says, 
" reigned as over a field of battle," 

Of sixty large sausages, that had been suspended from the joists, 
scarcely any remained. 

Then the lamentations of the host and hostess pierced the vault of the 
cellar. D'Artagnan himself was moved by them ; Athos did not even 
turn his head. 

But to grief succeeded rage. The host armed himself with a spit, and 
rushed into the chamber occupied by the two friends. 

" Some wine !" said Athos, on perceiving the host. 

" Some wine !" cried the stupefied host, " some wine ! why you have 
drunk more than a hundred pistoles' worth ! — I am a ruined man, lost ! 
destroyed !" 

" Bah !" said Athos, " why we were always dry." 

" If you had been contented with drinking, why, well and good ; but 
you have broken all the bottles." 

u You pushed me upon a heap which rolled down. That was your 


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" All my oil is lost ! ' 

" Oil is a sovereign balm for wounds, and my poor Grimaud here 
was obliged to dress those you had inflicted on him." 

" All my sausages gnawed !" 

" There is an enormous number of rats in that cellar." 

" You shall pay me for all this," cried the exasperated host 

" You triple ass !" said Athos, rising ; but he sank down again imme- 
diately ; he had tried his strength to the utmost. D'Artagnan came to 
his relief, with his whip in his hand. 

The host drew back and burst into tears. 

" This will teach you," said D'Artagnan, " to treat the guests God 
sends you in a more courteous fashion." 

" God ! say the devil !" 

" My dear friend," said D'Artagnan, " if you stun us in this manner, 
we will all four go and shut ourselves up in your cellar, and see if the 
mischief be as great as you say." 

" Oh ! gentlemen ! gentlemen !" said the host, " I have been wrong. 
I confess it, but, pardon to every sin ! you are a gentleman and I am a 
poor aubergiste, you will have pity on me." 

"Ah ! if you speak in that way," said Athos, " you will break my heart, 
and the tears will flow from my eyes as the wine flowed from the cask. 
We are not such devils as we appear to be. Come hither, and let us talk 
the matter over." 

The host approached with hesitation. 

" Come hither, I say, and don't be afraid,* continued Athos. " At the 
moment I was about to pay you, I had placed my purse on the table." 

" Yes, monsieur." 

" That purse contained sixty pistoles, where is it ?" 

" Deposited in the justice's office : they said it was bad money." 

" Very well ; get me my purse back and keep the sixty pistoles." 

" But monseigneur knows very well that justice never lets go that 
which it once lays hold of. If it were bad money, there might be some 
hopes ; but unfortunately they are all good pieces." 

" Manage the matter as well as you can, my good man ; it does not 
concern me, the more so as I have not a livre left." 

" Come," said D'Artagnan, " let us try further ; Athos's horse, where 
is that ?" 

" In the stable." 

" How much is it worth ?" 

" Fifty pistoles at most." 

" It's worth eighty, take it, and there ends the matter." 

" What l" cried Athos, " are you selling my horse ? my Bajazet ? and 
pray upon what shall I make my campaign ? upon Grimaud ?" 

" I have brought you another," said D'Artagnan. 


" And a magnificent one, too !" cried the host. 

" Well, since there is another finer and younger, why, you may take 
the old one, and let us have some wine." 


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"Which ?" asked the host, quite cheerful again. 

" Some of that at the bottom, near the laths ; there are twenty-five bot- 
tles of it left, all the rest were broken by my fall. Bring up six of them." 

" Why, this man is a tun !""said the host aside ; "if he only remains 
here a fortnight, and pays for what he drinks, my affairs will soon be 
light again." 

" And don't forget," said D'Artagnan, " to bring up four bottles of the 
same sort for the two English gentlemen." 

" And now," said Athos, " whilst they are bringing up the wine, tell 
me, D'Artagnan, what has become of the others, come !" 

D'Artagnan related how he had found Porthos in bed with a strained 
knee, and Aramis at a table between two theologians. As he finished, 
the host entered with the wine and a ham, which, fortunately for him, 
had been left out of the cellar. 

" That's well !" said Athos, filling his glass and that of his friend ; 
" here's to Porthos and Aramis ! but you, D'Artagnan, what is the 
matter with you, and what has happened to you personally ? You don't 
look happy !" 

" Alas !" said D'Artagnan, " it is because I am the most unfortunate 
of all !" 

" You ! unfortunate !" said Athos ; " come ! how the devil can you be 
unfortunate ? let us see that." 

" Presently !" said D'Artagnan. 

" Presently ! and why presently ? Now, that's because you think I 
am drunk, D'Artagnan. But, take this with you, my ideas are never 
so clear as when I have had plenty of wine. Speak, then, I am all 

D'Artagnan related his adventure with Madame Bonacieux. Athos 
listened to him with perfect immobility of countenance ; and, when he 
had finished, — 

" Trifles, all that ;" said Athos, " nothing but trifles !" That was 
Athos's expression. 

" You always say trifles, my dear Athos !" said D'Artagnan, " and 
that comes very ill from you, who have never been in love." 

The drink-deadened eye of Athos flashed, but it was only for a mo- 
ment — it became dull and vacant as before. 

" That's true," said he quietly, " for my part I have never loved." 

" Acknowledge then, you stone-hearted man," said D'Artagnan, " that 
you have no right to be so hard upon us whose hearts are tender." 

" Tender hearts ! wounded hearts 1" said Athos. 

" What do you say ?" 

" I say that love is a lottery, in which he who wins, wins death ! You 
are very fortunate to have lost, believe me, my dear D'Artagnan. And if 
1 may be allowed to advise you, it will be to lose always." 

" Oh ! but she seemed to love me so !" 

" She seemed, did she ?" 

" Oh ! she did love me !" 

" You boy ! why, there lives not a man who has not believed, as you 



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do, that his mistress loved him, and there lives not a man who has not 
been deceived by his mistress." 

" Except you, Athos, who never had one." 

" That's true," said Athos, after a moment's silence, " that's true ! I 
never had one ! I !— I !— Drink !" 

"But then, philosopher as you are," said D'Artagnan, "it is your 
duty to instruct me, to support me ; I stand in need of being taught 
and consoled." 

" Consoled ! for what ?" 

" For my misfortune." 

"Your misfortune is laughable," said Athos, shrugging his shoulders ; 
" I should like to know what you would say if I were to relate to you a 
real tale of love !" 

" Which concerns you ?" 

" Either me or one of my friends, what matters ?" 

" Tell it, Athos, tell it" 

" Drink ! I shall tell it better if I drink." 

" Drink and relate, then." 

" Not a bad idea !" said Athos, emptying and filling his glass, " the 
two things go marvellously well together." 

" I am all attention," said D'Artagnan. 

Athos collected himself, and in proportion as he did so, D'Artagnan 
saw that he became paler ; he was at that period of intoxication in 
which vulgar drinkers fall and sleep. He kept himself upright and 
dreamed, without sleeping. This somnambulism of drunkenness had 
something frightful in it 

" You particularly wish it V asked he. 

" I beg you will," said D'Artagnan. 

" Be it done then, as you desire. One of my friends, please to observe, 
not myself," said Athos, interrupting himself with a melancholy smile ; 
" one of the counts of my province, that is to say, of Berry, noble as a 
Dandolo or a Montmorency, at twenty-five years of age, fell in love with 
a girl of sixteen, beautiful as fancy can paint. Through the ingenuous- 
ness of her age beamed an ardent mind, a mind not of the woman, but 
of the poet ; she did not please, she intoxicated ; she lived in a small 
town with her brother, who was a cure*. Both had recently come into 
the country ; they came nobody knew whence ; but when seeing her so 
lovely and her brother so pious, nobody thought of asking whence they 
came. They were said, however, to be of good extraction. My friend, 
who was lord of the country, might have seduced her, or he might have 
seized her forcibly, at his will, for he was master ; who would have come 
to the assistance of two strangers, two unknown persons ? Unfortu- 
nately, he was an honourable man, he married her. The fool ! the ass ! 
the idiot !" 

" How so, if he loved her ?" asked D'Artagnan. 

" Wait !" said Athos. " He took her to his chiteau, and made her 
the first lady in the province ; and, in justice, it must be allowed, she 
supported her rank becomingly." 


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"Well ?" asked D'Artagnan, quite excited. 

" Well, one day when she was hunting with her husband," continued 
Athos, in a low voice, and speaking very auickly, " she fell from her 
horse and feinted ; the count flew to her help, and as she appeared to 
be oppressed by her clothes, he ripped them open with his poniard, and 
in so doing laid bare her shoulder : and now, guess, D'Artagnan," said 
Athos, with a maniacal burst of laughter, " guess what she had upon her 

" How can I tell ?" said D'Artagnan. 

" A fleur-de-lis !" said Athos. s She was branded !" 

And Athos emptied at a single draught the glass he held in his hand 

" Horror !" cried D'Artagnan. " What do you tell me ?" 

" Truth ! my friend, — the angel was a demon : the poor young girl 
had been a thief !" 

"And what did the count do ?" 

" The count was of the highest noblesse ; he had, on his estates, the 
right of high and low justice ; he tore the dress of the countess to pieces, 
he tied her hands behind her, and hanged her on a tree !" 

" Heavens ! Athos ! a murder !" cried D'Artagnan. 

" Yes, a murder,— no more "—said Athos, as pale as death. " But, 
methinks, they let me" want wine !" and he seized the last bottle that 
was left, by the neck, put it to his mouth, and emptied it at a single 
draught as he would have emptied an ordinary glass. 

Then he let his head sink upon his two hands, whilst D'Artagnan 
stood up before him, terrified, stupefied. 

" That has cured me of beautiful, poetical, and loving women," said 
Athos, after a considerable pause, raising his head, and forgetting to 
continue the apologue of the count, — "God grant you as much ! — 
Drink !" 

" Then she is dead ?" stammered D'Artagnan. 

" Parbleu !" said Athos. "But hold out your glass. Some ham, my 
man !" cried Athos ; " we don't half drink !" 

" And her brother ?" added D'Artagnan timidly. 

" Her brother?" replied Athos. 

"Yes, the priest" 

" Oh ! I inquired after him for the purpose of hanging him likewise, 
but he was beforehand with me, he had quitted the curacy instantly." 

" Was it ever known who this miserable fellow was ?" 

" He was doubtless the first lover, and the accomplice of the fair lady, 
a worthy man, who had pretended to be a curd, for the purpose of 
getting his mistress married, and securing her a position. He has been 
hanged and quartered before this time, 1 hope." 

" Good God ! good God !" cried D'Artagnan, quite stunned by the 
relation of this horrible adventure. 

" Taste some of this ham, D'Artagnan ; it is exquisite," said Athos, 
cutting a slice, which he placed on the youne man's plate. "What a 
pity it is there were only four like this in the cellar, I should have 
drunk fifty bottles more." 



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D'Artagnan could no longer endure this conversation, which had 
terrified away his senses ; he felt quite bewildered, and allowing his 
head to sink upon his hand, he pretended to sleep. 

" These young fellows can none of them drink," said Athos, looking 
at him with pity, " and yet this is one of the best of them, too !" 



D'Artagnan was astounded by the terrible confidence of Athos ; and 
yet many things appeared very obscure to him in this partial revelation ; 
in the first place, it had been made by a man quite drunk, to one who 
was half-drunk, and yet, in spite of the uncertainty which the vapour 
of three or four bottles of Burgundy carries with it to the brain, " D'Ar- 
tagnan, when awaking on the following morning, had every word of 
Athos's as present to his memory as if they fell from his mouth ; they 
had been impressed upon his mind. All this doubt only gave rise to a 
more lively desire of arriving at a certainty, and he went into his friend's 
chamber with a fixed determination of renewing the conversation of the 
preceding evening ; but he found Athos quite himself again, that is to 
say, the most shrewd and impenetrable of men. Besides which, the 
musketeer, after having exchanged a hearty shake of the hand with him, 
broached the matter first 

" I was pretty drunk yesterday, D'Artagnan," said he, " I can tell that 
by my tongue, which was swollen and hot this morning, and by my 
pulse, which was very tremulous ; I would lay a wager 1 uttered a thou- 
sand absurdities." 

And whilst saying this he looked at his friend with an earnestness 
that embarrassed him. 

" No," replied D'Artagnan, " if I recollect well what you said, it was 
nothing out of the common way." 

" Indeed ! you surprise me, I thought I had related a most lament- 
able history to you ?" And he looked at the young man as if he would 
read to the very depths of his heart 

" Ma foi !" said D'Artagnan, " it would appear that I was more drunk 
than you, since I remember nothing of the kind." 

But this did not deceive Athos, and he resumed : 

" You cannot have failed to remark, my dear friend, that every one 
has his particular kind of drunkenness, sad or gay ; my drunkenness is 
always sad, and when I am thoroughly intoxicated my mania is to relate 
all the dismal histories which my foolish nurse infused into my brain. 
That is my failing : a capital failing, I admit ; but, with that exception, 
I am a good drinker. ' 

Athos spoke this in so natural a manner, that D'Artagnan was shaken 
in his conviction. 

" Oh ! it is that, then," replied the young man, anxious to find out the 


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truth, " it is that, then, I remember, as we remember a dream, — we were 
speaking of hanging people." 

" Ah ! you see how it is," said Athos, becoming still paler, but yet 
attempting to laugh, " I was sure it was so — the hanging of people is 
my night-mare." 

" Yes, yes," replied D'Artagnan, " I remember now ; yes, it was about 
— stop a minute — yes, it was about a woman." 

" That's it," replied Athos, becoming almost livid, " that is my grand 
history of the fair lady, and when I relate that, I must be drunk indeed." 

" Yes, that was it," said D'Artagnan, " the history of a tall, fair lady, 
with blue eyes." 

" Yes, who was hanged." 

" By her husband, who was a nobleman of your acquaintance," con- 
tinued D'Artagnan, looking intently at Athos. 

" Well, you see how a man may compromise himself when he docs 
not know what he says," replied Athos, shrugging his shoulders as if he 
thought himself an object of pity. " I certainly never will get drunk 
again, D'Artagnan, — it is too bad a habit." 

D'Artagnan remained silent 

Then Athos, changing the conversation all at once, — 

" By-the-bye, I thank you for the horse you have brought me," said he. 

" Is it to your mind ?" asked D'Artagnan. 

" Yes ; but it is not a horse for hard work." 

" You are mistaken ; I have ridden him nearly ten leagues in less 
than an hour and a half, and he appeared no more distressed than if he 
had only made the tour of the Place Saint Sulpice."* 

" Ah, ah ! you begin to awaken my regret." 


" Yes ; I have parted with him." 


" Why, here is the simple fact : this morning I awoke at six o'clock, 
you were still fast asleep, and I did not know what to do with myself ; 
I was still stupid from our yesterday's debauch. As I came into the 
public room, I saw one of our Englishmen bargaining with a dealer for 
a horse, his own having died yesterday from bleeding. I drew near, 
and found he was bidding a hundred pistoles for a fine chestnut nag. 
' Pardieu !' said I ; * my good gentleman, I have a horse to sell, too.' 

" * Aye, and a very fine one ! I saw him yesterday — your friend's 
lackey was leading him.' 

" ' Do you think he is worth a hundred pistoles ? 
" ' Yes ; will you sell him to me for that sum ?' 
" ' No ; but I will play with you for him.' 
" * You will play with me ?* 

• I endeavour to translate as faithfully as is consistent with spirit, therefore beg the reader 
not to hold me responsible for such wonders as this ; as a pretty good English honcman, I 
must confess I never met with such a horse : all these circumstances arc exaggerated. - - 


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" ( At what? 

"'At dice.' 

" No sooner said than done, and I lost the horse. Ah, ah ! but please 
to observe I won back the caparison," cried Athos. 

D'Artagnan looked much disconcerted. 

"This vexes you?" said .Athos. 

"Well, I must confess it does," replied ft'Artagnan. "That horse 
was to have assisted in making us known in the day of battle. It was 
a pledge — a remembrance. Athos, you have done very wrong." 

" But, my dear friend, put yourself in my place," replied the mus- 
keteer. " I was hipped to death : and still further, upon my honour, I 
don't like English horses. If all the consequence is to be recognised, 
why the saddle will suffice for that ; it is quite remarkable enough. As 
:o the horse, we can easily find some excuse for its disappearance. 
\Vhat the devil ! a horse is mortal ; suppose mine had had the glanders, 
or the farcy ? 

D'Artagnan could not smile. 

"It vexes me greatly," continued Athos, " that you attach so much 
importance to these animals, for I am not yet at the end of my story." 

" What else have you done ?" 

"After having lost my own horse, nine against ten — see how near ! 
— I formed an idea of staking yours." 

" Yes — but you stopped at the idea, I hope ?" 

" No ; for I put it in execution that very minute." 

" And the consequence ?" said D'Artagnan, in great anxiety. 

" I threw, and I lost" 

"What, my horse ?" 

" Your horse ; seven against eight ; a point short — you know the 

"Athos, you are not in your right senses, — I swear you are not" 

" My dear lad, it was yesterday, when I was telling you silly stories, 
that you ought to have told me that, and not this morning. I lost him, 
then, with all his appointments and furniture." 

"Really, this is frightful !" 

" Stop a minute ; you don't know all yet I should make an excel- 
lent gambler if I were not too hot-headed ; but I became so, just as if 
I were drinking ; well, I was hot-headed then " 

"Well, but what else could you play for, — you had nothing left ?" 

" Oh ! yes, yes, my friend ; there was still that diamond left which 
sparkles on your finger, and which I had observed yesterday." 

" This diamond !" said D'Artagnan, placing his hand eagerly on his 

"And as I am a connoisseur in such things, having had a few of my 
own once, I estimated it at a thousand pistoles." 

" I hope," said D'Artagnan, half dead with fright, " you made no 
mention of my diamond ?" 

4 On the contrary, my dear friend, this diamond became our only 


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resource ; with it I might regain our horses and their furniture, and, 
still further, money to pay our expenses on the road." 

" Athos, you make me tremble !" cried D'Artagnan. 

" I mentioned your diamond then to my adversary, who had like- 
wise remarked it What the devil ! do you think you can wear a star 
from heaven on your finger and nobody observe it ? Impossible !" 

" Oh ! go on, go on !" said D'Artagnan ; " for upon my honour, you 
will kill me with your careless coolness !" 

" We divided, then, this diamond into ten parts, of a hundred pistoles 

" You are laughing at me, and want to try me !" said D'Artagnan, 
whom anger began to take by the hair, as Minerva takes Achilles, 
in the Iliad. 

" No, I am not joking, mordieu ! I should like to have seen you in 
my place ! I had been fifteen days without seeing a human face, and 
had been left to brutalise myself with the company of nothing but 

" That was no reason for staking my diamond !" replied D'Artagnan, 
closing his hand with a nervous spasm. 

" But hear the end. Ten throws of a hundred pistoles each— ten 
throws, without revenge ; in thirteen throws I lost all — in thirteen 
throws. The number thirteen was always fatal to me ; it was on the 
1 3th of the month of July that " 

" Ventrebleu !" cried D'Artagnan, rising from the table, the history 
of the present day making him forget that of the preceding one. 

" Patience, patience !" said Athos ; "I had a plan. The Englishman 
was an original ; I had seen him conversing that morning with Gri- 
maud, and Grimaud had told me that he had made him proposals to 
enter into his service. I staked Grimaud — the silent Grimaud — divided 
into ten portions." 

" Well, what next ?" said D'Artagnan, laughing in spite of himself. 

" Grimaud himself, understand ! and with the ten parts of Grimaud, 
which are not worth a ducatoon, I won back the diamond. Tell me, 
now, whether you don't think persistence is a virtue ?" 

" Ma foi ! but this is a droll story," cried D'Artagnan, a little con- 
soled, and holding his sides with laughter. 

" You may easily guess, that finding the luck turned, I again staked 
the diamond." 

" The devil !" said D'Artagnan, becoming again angry. 

" I won back your furniture, then your horse, then my furniture, then 
my horse, and then I lost again To make short, I regained your furni- 
ture and then mine. That's where we left off. That was a superb 
throw, so I left off there." 

D'Artagnan breathed as if the whole hostelry had been removed from 
off his chest. 

" Then I understand," said he, timidly, " the diamond is safe ?' 

" Intact, my dear friend ; plus the furniture of your Bucephalus and 


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" But what is the use of horse-furniture without horses ?" 

" I have an idea concerning them." 

" Athos, you keep me in a fever." 

" Listen to me. You have not played for a long time, D'Artagnan." 

" Neither have I any inclination to play." 

" Swear to nothing. You have not played for a long time, I said ; 
you ought, then, to have a good hand." 

"Well, what then?" 

" Well ! the Englishman and his companion are still here. I remarked 
that he regretted the horse-furniture very much. You appear to think 
much of your horse. In your place, now, I would stake the furniture 
against the horse." 

"But he will not be satisfied with one equipment." 

" Stake both, pardieu ! I am not selfish, if you are." 

" You would do so ?" said D'Artagnan, undecided, so strongly did 
the confidence of Athos begin to prevail, unknown to himself. 

" Parole d'honneur, in one single throw." 

" But having lost the horses, I am particularly anxious to preserve 
the furniture." 

"Stake your diamond, then !" 

" This ! No, thank you ! that's quite another thing. Never ! never !" 

" The devil !" said Athos. " I would propose to you to stake Plan- 
chet, but as that has already been done, the Englishman would not, 
perhaps, be willing." 

" Decidedly, my dear Athos, I should like better not to risk any- 

" That's a pity," said Athos, coolly ; " the Englishman is overflowing 
with pistoles. Good lord ! try one throw ; one throw is soon - thrown!" 

" And if I lose ?" 

" You will win, I tell you." 

" But if I lose ?" 

" Well, you will surrender the furniture." 

" I will try one throw," said D'Artagnan. 

Athos went in search of the Englishman, whom he found in the 
stable, examining the furniture with a greedy eye. The opportunity 
was good. He proposed the conditions — the two furnitures against one 
horse, or a hundred pistoles, to choose. The Englishman calculated 
fast : the two furnitures were worth three hundred pistoles to them : 
he consented. 

D'Artagnan threw the dice with a trembling hand, and turned up the 
number three ; his paleness terrified Athos, who, however, contented 
himself with saying : 

"That's a sad throw, comrade; you will have the horses fully equipped, 

The Englishman, auite triumphant, did not even give himself the 
trouble to shake the dice ; he threw them on the table without looking 
at them, so sure was he of victory ; D'Artagnan himself had turned on 
one side to conceal his ill-humour. 


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THE kETURfc 23J 

" There ! there ! there !" said Athos, with his quiet tone ; " that throw 
of the dice is extraordinary. I have only witnessed such a one four 
times in my life. Two aces, gentlemen !" 

The Englishman looked, and was seized with astonishment ; D'Ar- 
tagnan looked, and was seized with pleasure. 

" Yes," continued Athos, " four times only : once at the house of M. 
Cre'quy ; another time at my own house in the country, in my chateau 

r.t , when I had a chateau; a third time at M. de TreVille's, where it 

surprised us all ; and the fourth time at a cabaret, where it fell to my 
lot, and where I lost a hundred louis and a supper on it." 

" Then monsieur takes his horse back again," said the Englishman. 

" Certainly," said D'Artagnan. 

" Then there is no revenge ?" 

" Our conditions said no revenge, you will please to recollect." 

" That is true ; the horse shall be restored to your lackey, monsieur." 

" A moment !" said Athos ; " with your permission, monsieur, I wish 
to speak a word with my friend." 

" If you please." 

Athos drew D'Artagnan on one side. 

" Well, tempter ! what more do you want with me ?" said D'Artag- 
nan ; " you want me to throw again, do you not ?" 

" No ; I would wish you to reflect a little before you decide." 

" Upon what ?" 

" You mean to take your horse, do you not ?" 

"Without doubt, I do." 

" You are wrong, then. I would take the hundred pistoles ; you know 
you have staked the furniture against the horse or a hundred pistoles, 
at your choice." 


" Well, then, I would take the hundred pistoles." 

" And I will take the horse." 

"In which, I repeat, you arc wrong. What is the use of one horse 
for us two ? I could not get up behind : we should look like the two 
sons of Amyon, who have lost their brother. You cannot think of 
humiliating me by riding by my side, prancing along upon that magni- 
ficent charger. For my part, I should not hesitate a moment, but take 
the hundred pistoles. We want money to carry us back to Paris." 

" I am much attached to that horse, Athos." 

" And there, again, you are wrong ; a horse slips and injures a joint, 
a horse stumbles and breaks his knees to the bone, ahorse eats out of a 
manger in which a glandercd horse has eaten ; there is a horse, or rather 
a hundred pistoles, lost : a master must feed his horse, whilst, on the 
contrary, the hundred pistoles feed their master." 

" But how shall we get back to Paris V 

" Upon our lackeys' horses, pardieu ! Never think of our steeds ; 
anybody may see by our carriage that we are people of condition." 

•' Very pretty figures we shall cut upon ponies, whilst Aramis and 
Porthos will be caracolling upon their war steeds !" 


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" Aramis and Porthos !" cried Athos, and laughed more loudly than 
was his custom. 

" What are you laughing at ?' asked D'Artagnan, who did not at all 
comprehend the hilarity of his friend. 
" Never mind ! — do ; one thing or the other," said Athos. 

" Your advice then is " 

" To take the hundred pistoles, D'Artagnan ; with the hundred 
pistoles we can live well to the end of the month: we have undergone a 
great deal of fatigue, remember, and a little rest will do us no harm." 

" I rest ! oh, no, Athos, the moment I am in Paris, I shall prosecute 
my researches after that unfortunate woman." 

" Well, you may be assured that your horse will not be half so ser- 
viceable to you for that purpose as the good louis d'or ; — take the hun- 
dred pistoles, toy friend, take the hundred pistoles !" 

D'Artagnan only required one reason, to be satisfied. This last 
reason appeared convincing. Besides, he feared that by resisting longer 
he should appear selfish in the eyes of Athos: he acquiesced, then, and 
chose the hundred pistoles, which the Englishman paid down im- 

They then determined to # depart Peace with the landlord, in addition 
to Athos's old horse, cost six pistoles ; D'Artagnan and Athos took the 
nags of Planchet and Grimaud, and the two lackeys started on foot, 
carrying the saddles on their heads. 

However ill our two friends were mounted, they soon got far in 
advance of their servants, and arrived at Crevecceur. From a distance 
they perceived Aramis, seated in a melancholy manner at his window, 
looking out, like Sister Anne, at the dust in the horizon. 

" Holo ! ha ! Aramis ! what the devil are you doing there !" cried 

" Ah ! is that you, D'Artagnan, and you, Athos ?" said the young 
man. " I was reflecting upon the rapidity with which the blessings of 
this world leave us, and my English horse, which has just disappeared 
amidst a cloud of dust, has furnished me with a living image of the 
fragility of the things of the earth. Life itself may be resolved into 
three words : Erat, est,fttit. n 

" Which means " said D'Artagnan, who began to suspect the truth. 

" Which means, that I have just been duped ; sixty louis for a horse, 
which, by the manner in which he goes, can do at least five leagues an 

D'Artagnan and Athos burst into a loud laugh. 

" My dear D'Artagnan," said Aramis. "don't be too angry with me, I 
beg of you, necessity has no law ; besides, I am the person punished, as 
that rascally horse-dealer has robbed me of fifty pistoles at least. Ah ! 
you fellows are good managers ! you ride on your lackey's horses, and 
have your own gallant steeds led along carefully by hand, at short 

At the same instant a market-cart, which had for some minutes 
appeared upon the Amiens road, pulled up at the auberge, and 


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Planchet and Grimaud got out of it with the saddles on their heads. 
The carter was going to Paris, and had agreed, on condition of being 
prevented from feeling thirst upon the road, to convey the lackeys and 
their burdens thither. 

" How is all this ?" said Aramis, on seeing them arrive — " nothing 
but saddles F 

" Now, do you understand I 9 said Athos. 

"Oh, yes! all alike, I retained my furniture by instinct Hola! 
Bazin ! bring my new saddle, and carry it with those of these gen- 

" And what have you done with your cure's ?" asked D'Artagnan. 

" Why, I invited them to a dinner the next day," replied Aramis ; 
" they have some capital wine here ; please to observe that in pass- 
ing, I did my best to make them drunk ; — then the cure* forbade 
me to quit my uniform, and the Jesuit entreated me to get him made a 

" Without a thesis !" cried D'Artagnan, " without a thesis ! for my 
part, I request the thesis may be suppressed !" 

" From that time," continued Aramis, " I have lived very agreeably. 
1 have begun a poem in verse of one syllable ! that is rather difficult, 
but the merit in all things consists in the difficulty. The matter is 
tasty. I will read the first canto to you ; it has four hundred verses, 
and lasts a minute." 

"Ma foi ! my dear Aramis^" said D'Artagnan, who detested verses 
almost as much as he did Latin * " add to the merit of the difficulty 
that of the brevity, and you are sure that your poem will at least 
have two merits." 

" Ah ; but you will see," continued Aramis, " that it breathes irre- 
proachable passion. — And so, my friends, we are returning to Paris ? 
Bravo ! I am ready, we are going to rejoin that good fellow, Porthos ! 
so much the better. You can't think how I have missed him, the great 
simpleton. He would not sell his horse ; not for a kingdom ! I think 
I can see him now, mounted upon his superb animal and seated in his 
handsome saddle, looking like the Great Mogul !" 

They made a halt for an hour, to refresh their horses : Aramis 
discharged his bill, placed Bazin in the cart with his comrades, and 
they set forward to join Porthos. 

They found him up, less pale than when D'Artagnan left him, and 
seated at a table, on which, though he was alone, was spread enough 
for four persons ; this dinner consisted of viands nicely dressed, choice 
wines, and superb fruit. 

" Ah ! pardieu !" said he, rising, " you come in the nick of time ; 
gentlemen, I was just beginning the potage, and you will dine with 

" Oh, oh !" said D'Artagnan, " these bottles are not the fruits of 
Mousqueton's lasso / besides, here is a fricandeau pique* , and * filet de 

"I am recruiting myself," said Porthos, " I am recruiting myself;— 

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nothing weakens a man more than these cursed strains. Did you ever 
suffer from a strain, Athos ?" 

" Never ! — only I remember that when in our affair of the Rue 
Fdrou, I received a sword-wound, which at the end of fifteen or eighteen 
days produced exactly the same effect" 

" But this dinner was not intended for you alone, Porthos ?" said 
Aram is. 

" No," said Porthos, " I expected some gentlemen of the neighbour- 
hood, who have just sent me word they could not come ; you will take 
their places, and I shall not lose by the exchange. Holo, Mousqueton ! 
seats, and order the number of bottles to be doubled." 

" Do you know what we are eating here ?" said Athos, at the expira- 
tion of about ten minutes. 

" Pardieu !" replied D'Artagnan, " for my part I am eating vcau piqut 
aux cardons and d la motile." 

44 And I some Jilels d'agncau? said Porthos. 

" And I a blanc de volatile" said Aramis. 

" You are all mistaken, gentlemen," answered Athos, with a serious 
countenance ; " you are all eating horse-flesh." 

" Eating what ?" said D'Artagnan. 

" Horse-flesh !" said Aramis, with a look of disgust. 

Porthos alone made no rep>/. 

" Yes, real horse ; are we not, Porthos, eating a horse ? and perhaps 
his saddle." 

" No, no, gentlemen, I have kept the furniture," said Porthos. 

" Ma foi !" said Aramis, " wc arc all bad alike ; one would think we 
acted upon agreement." 

" What could I do ?" said Porthos ; " this horse made my visitors 
ashamed of theirs, and I don't like to humble people !" 

44 Then your duchess is still taking the waters ?" asked D'Artagnan. 

" Yes, still," replied Porthos. " And the governor of the province, 
one of the gentlemen I expected to-day, seemed to have such a wish 
for him, that I gave him to him." 

44 Gave him ?" cried D'Artagnan. 

44 Lord ! yes, gave it to him, you can't call it anything but a gift," 
said Porthos, "for the animal was worth at least a hundred and fifty louis, 
and the stingy fellow would only give me eighty !" 

44 Without the saddle ?" said Aramis. 

44 Yes, without the saddle." 

44 You will please to observe, gentlemen," said Athos, "that Porthos 
has made the best bargain of any of us." 

And then commenced a roar of laughter in which they all joined, to 
the astonishment of poor Porthos : but when he was informed of the 
cause of their hilarity, his laughter, according to custom, was more 
vociferous than anybody's. 

44 So, then, there is one comfort, we are all in cash," said D'Artagnan. 

44 Well, for my part," said Athos, " I found Aramis' Spanish wine so 
good, that I sent on a hamper of sixty bottles of it with the lackeys ; 
that has weakened my purse not n little." 


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u And I," said Aramis, " you can imagine that I had given almost my 
last sou to the church of Montdidier and the Jesuits of Amiens ; that I, 
moreover, had formed engagements which I ought to have kept I 
have ordered masses for myself, and for you, gentlemen, which will be 
said, gentlemen, and for which I have not the least doubt you will be 
very much the better." 

"And I," said Porthos, "do you think my strain cost me nothing ? 
without reckoning Mousqueton's wound, on account of which the surgeon 
was obliged to come twice a day, and who charged me double on account 
of Mousqueton's having allowed himself to be wounded in a part which 
people generally only show to an apothecary ; so I advised him to try 
never to get wounded there any more." 

" Aye, aye !" said Athos, exchanging a smile with D'Artagnan and 
Aramis ; "it is very clear you acted nobly with regard to the poor lad ; 
that is like a good master." 

" In short," said Porthos, "when all my expenses are paid, I shall have, 
at most, thirty crowns left" 

" And I about ten pistoles," said Aramis. 

" Well, then, it appears that we are the Croesuses of the society. How 
much have you left of your hundred pistoles, D'Artagnan ?" 

"Of my hundred pistoles? Why, in the first place, I gave you fifty." 

" You did ?" 

" Pardieu I yes." 

" Ah ! yes, so you clid ; I recollect now." 

" Then I paid the host six." 

" What an animal that host was ! Why did you give him six pis- 
toles ?" 

" Why, you told me to give them to him yourself !" 

" Ah ! so I did ; but I am too good-natured. In brief, how much 
have you left ?" 

" Twenty-five pistoles," said D'Artagnan. 

" And I," said Athos, taking some small change from his pocket, 

U T » 

" You ? why, nothing !" 

" Ma foi ! so little that it is not worth reckoning with the general 

" Now, then, let us calculate how much we possess in all." 

" Porthos ?" 

" Thirty crowns." 

" Aramis ?" 

" Ten pistoles." 

" And you, D'Artagnan ?" 

" Twenty-five." 

" That makes in all ?" said Athos. 

" Four hundred and seventy-five livres !" said D'Artagnan, who reck- 
oned like an Archimedes. 

" Then on our arrival in Paris, we shall still have four hundred, 
besides the furniture," said Porthos. 


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" But our troop horses r* said Aramis. 

u Well ! of the four lackeys' horses we will make two for the masters, 
for which we will draw lots ; with the four hundred livres, we will make 
the half of one for one of the unmounted, and then we will give the 
turnings out of our pockets to D'Artagnan, who has a steady hand, 
and will go and play in the first tripet we come to. There, that's 

" Let us finish the dinner, then," said Porthos ; " it is getting cold." 

The friends, having set their minds at ease with regard to the future, 
did honour to the repast, the remains of which were abandoned to 
MM. Mousqueton, Bazin, Planchet, and Grimaud. 

On arriving in Paris, D'Artagnan found a letter from M. de TreVille, 
which informed him that, at his request, the king had promised that he 
should be admitted to the company of the musketeers. 

As this was the height of D'Artagnan's worldly ambition, apart, be it 
well understood, from his desire of finding Madame Bonacieux, he ran, 
full of joy, to seek his comrades, whom he had left only half an hour 
before, but whom he found very sad and deeply preoccupied. They 
were assembled in council at the residence of Athos, which always in- 
dicated an event of some seriousness. M. de Treville had intimated to 
them that, it being his majesty's fixed intention to open the campaign 
on the ist of May, they must immediately get ready all their appoint- 

The four philosophers looked at each other in a state of bewilder- 
ment. M. de TreVille never joked in matters relating to discipline. 

"And what do you reckon your appointments will cost?" said 

" Oh, we can scarcely venture to say. We have made our calcula- 
tions with Spartan economy, and we each require fifteen hundred 

" Four times fifteen make sixty— ah ! six thousand livres," said 

" For my part, I think," said D'Artagnan, " with a thousand livres 
each— I do not speak as a Spartan, but as a procureur " 

This word procureur roused Po 
" Stop !" said he, " I have an idea." 
'•"ell, ' 

" Well, thafs something ; for my part, I have not the shadow of one," 
said Athos, coolly ; "but as to D'Artagnan, the idea of belonging to ours^ 
gentlemen, has driven him out of his senses. A thousand livres ! for 
my part, I declare I want two thousand." 

" Four times two make eight, then," said Aramis ; " it is eight thou- 
sand that we want to complete our appointments, of which appointments, 
it is true, we have already handsome saddles." 

" Besides," said Athos, waiting till D'Artagnan^ who went to thank 
M. de Treville, had shut the door, "besides, there is that beautiful ring 
which beams from the finger of our friend. What the devil ! D'Artagnan 
is too good a comrade to leave his brothers in embarrassment whilst he 
wears the ransom of a king on his finger." 


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The most preoccupied of the four friends was certainly D'Artagnan, 
although D^Artagnan, in his quality of guard, would be much more 
easily equipped than messieurs the musketeers, who were all very high ; 
but our Gascon cadet was, as may have been observed, of a provident 
and almost avaricious character, and with that (explain the contradic- 
tion if you can) so vainglorious as almost to rival Porthos. To this 
preoccupation of his vanity, D'Artagnan, at this moment, joined an 
uneasiness much less selfish. Notwithstanding all his inquiries respect- 
ing Madame Bonacieux, he could obtain no intelligence of her. M. de 
Treville had spoken of her to the queen ; the queen was ignorant where 
the mercer's young wife was, but had promised to have her sought for. 
But this promise was very vague, and did not at all reassure D'Artagnan. 

Athos did not laeve his chamber ; he made up his mind not to take 
a single step to provide for his equipment 

" We have still a fortnight before us," said he to his friends ; " well, 
ifj at the end of a fortnight, I have found nothing, or, rather, if nothing 
has come to find me, as I am too good a Catholic to kill myself with a 
pistol-bullet, I will seek a good cause of quarrel with four of his emi- 
nence's guards or with eight Englishmen ; I will fight until one of them 
has killed me, which, considering the number, cannot fail to happen. 
It will then be said of me that I died for the king, so that I shall have 
performed my duty without the expense of equipment" 

Porthos continued to walk about, with his hands behind him, tossing 
his head, and repeating : 

" I shall follow up my idea." 

Aramis. anxious, and negligently dressed, said nothing. 

It may be seen by these disastrous details that desolation reigned in 
the community. 

The lackeys, on their part, like the coursers of Hippolytus, shared 
the sadness of their masters. Mousqueton collected a store of crusts ; 
Bazin, who had always been inclined to devotion, never quitted the 
churches ; Planchet watched the flight of flies ; and Grimaud, whom 
the general distress could not induce to break the silence imposed by 
his master, heaved sighs enough to soften stones. 

The three friends — for, as we have said, Athos had sworn not to stir a 
foot to equip himself— the three friends went out early in the morning, 
and returned late at night They wandered about the streets, looking 
at the pavement as if to see whether the passengers had not left a purse 
behind them. They might have been supposed to be following tracks, 
so attentive were they wherever they went When they met they 
looked desolately at each other, as much as to say, " Have you found 
anything T 

However, as Porthos had first found an idea, and had thought of it 
earnestly afterwards, he was the first to act He was a man of execu- 
tion, this worthy Porthos. D'Artagnan perceived him one day walking 


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towards the church of St. Leu, and followed him instinctively ; he 
entered, after having twisted his moustache and elongated his royal, 
which always announced, on his part, the most conquering resolutions. 
As D'Artagnan took some precautions to conceal himself, Porthos be- 
lieved he had not been seen. D'Artagnan entered behind him, Porthos 
went and leaned against the side of a pillar ; D'Artagnan, still unper- 
ceived, supported himself against the other side of it. 

There happened to be a sermon, which made the church very full. 
Porthos took advantage of this circumstance to ogle the women : thanks 
to the cares of Mousqueton, the exterior was far from announcing the 
distress of the interior : his hat was a little napless, his feather was a 
little faded, his gold lace was a little tarnished, his laces were a trifle 
frayed ; but in the obscurity of the church these things were not seen, 
and Porthos was still the handsome Porthos. 

D'Artagnan observed, on the bench nearest to the pillar against which 
Porthos leaned, a sort of ripe beauty, rather yellow and rather dry, but 
erect and haughty, under her black hood. The eyes of Porthos were 
furtively cast upon this lady, and then roved about at large over the 

On her side, the lady, who from time to time blushed, darted with the 
rapidity of lightning a glance towards the inconstant Porthos, and then 
immediately the eyes of Porthos were sent wandering over the church 
anxiously. It was plain that this was a mode of proceeding that 
piqued the lady in the black hood to the quick, for she bit her lips till 
they bled, scratched the top of her nose, and could not sit still in her 

Porthos, seeing this, retwisted his moustache, elongated his royal a 
second time, and began to make signals to a beautiful lady who was 
near the choir, and who not only was a beautiful lady, but, still further, 
no doubt, a great lady, for she had behind her a negro boy, who had 
brought the cushion on which she knelt, and a female servant who held 
the coat-of-arms- marked bag, in which was placed the book from which 
she read the mass. 

The lady with the black hood followed through all their wanderings 
the looks of Porthos, and perceived that they stopped upon the lady 
with the velvet cushion, the little negro, and the maid-servant. 

During all this time Porthos played close ; it was almost imperceptible 
motions of his eyes, fingers placed upon the lips, little assassinating 
smiles, which really did assassinate the disdained beauty. 

Then she uttered, in form of mea at/pa, and striking her breast, a 
hum / so vigorous that everybody, even the lady with the red cushion, 
turned round towards her. Porthos paid no attention ; nevertheless, 
he understood it all, but was as deaf as the pillar he leaned against. 

The lady with the red cushion produced a great effect— for she was 
very handsome — upon the lady with the black hood, who saw in her a 
rival really to be dreaded ; a great effect upon Porthos, who thought her 
much more pretty than the lady with the black hood ; a great effect 
upon D'Artagnan, who recognised in her the lady of Meung, of Calais, 


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and Dover, whom his persecutor, the man with the scar, had saluted by 
the name of milady. 

D'Artagnan, without losing sight of the lady of the red cushion, con- 
tinued to watch the proceedings of Porthos, which amused him greatly ; 
he directly guessed that the lady of the black hood was the procureur's 
wife of the Rue aux Ours, which was the more probable from the church 
of St. Leu being contiguous to that locality. 

He guessed, likewise, that Porthos was taking his revenge for the 
defeat of Chantilly, when the procureuse had proved so refractory with 
respect to her purse. 

But, amidst all this, D'Artagnan remarked also that not one counte- 
nance responded to the gallantries of Porthos. There was nothing but 
chimeras and illusions ; but for real love, for true jealousy, is there any 
reality but illusions and chimeras ? 

The sermon over, the procureuse advanced towards the binitier; 
Porthos went before her, and, instead of a finger^ dipped his whole 
hand in. The procureuse smiled, thinking that it was for her that 
Porthos put himself to this expense ; but she was cruelly and promptly 
undeceived : when she was only about three steps from him, he turned 
his head round, fixing his eyes invariably upon the lady of the red 
cushion, who had risen and was approaching, followed by her black 
boy and her fille-de-chambre. 

When the lady of the red cushion came close to Porthos, Porthos 
drew his dripping hand from the btnitier. The fair dhfotc touched the 
great hand of Porthos with her delicate fingers, smiled, made the sign 
of the cross, and left the church. 

This was too much for the procureuse ; she entertained no doubt that 
there was an affair of gallantry between this lady and Porthos. If she 
had been a great lady she would have fainted ; but as she was only a 
procureuse, she contented herself with saying to the musketeer, with 
concentrated fury : 

" Eh, Monsieur Porthos, you don't offer me any holy water T 

Porthos, at the sound of that voice, started like a man awakened from 
a sleep of a hundred years. 

" Ma— madame !" cried he; " is that you ? How is your husband, our 
dear Monsieur Coquenard ? Is he still as stingy as ever ? Where can 
my eyes have been not to have even perceived you during the two 
hours the sermon has lasted ?" 

" I was within two paces of you, monsieur," replied the procureuse ; 
" but you did not perceive me, because you had no eyes but for the 
pretty lady to whom you just now gave the holy water." 

Porthos pretended to be confused. • 

" Ah," said he, " you have remarked." 

" I must have been blind if I had not." 

" Yes," said Porthos, " that is a duchess of my acquaintance, with 
whom I have great trouble to meet, on account of the jealousy of her 
husband, and who sent me word that she should come to-day, solely for 
the purpose of seeing me in this poor church, buried in this vile quarter." 



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" Monsieur Porthos," said the procureuse, " will you have the kind- 
ness to offer me your arm for five minutes ? I have something to say 
to you." 

" Certainly, madame," said Porthos, winkinc to himself as a gambler 
does who laughs at the dupe he is about to pluck. 

At that moment D'Artagnan passed in pursuit of milady ; he cast a 
passing glance at Porthos, and beheld this triumphant look. 

" Eh, eh !" said he, reasoning to himself according to the strangely 
easy morality of that gallant period, " there is one, at least, in the road 
to be equipped in time." 

Porthos, yielding to the pressure of the arm of the procureuse, as a 
barque yields to the rudder, arrived at the Cloisters Saint Magloire, a 
very unfrequented passage, enclosed with a turnstile at each end. In 
the daytime nobody was seen there but mendicants devouring their 
crusts, and children playing. 

" Ah, Monsieur Porthos," cried the procureuse, when she was assured 
that no one a stranger to the population of the locality could either see 
or hear her, " ah, Monsieur Porthos, you are a great conqueror, it 
appears !" 

" Who — I, madame ?" said Porthos, drawing himself up proudly ; 
"how so?" 

" Look at the proofs of it, just now, and the holy water ! But that 
must be a princess, at least, that lady with her negro boy and her 
maid !" 

" Pardieu ! madame, you are deceived *, she is simply a duchess." 

"And that running footman who waited at the door, and that car- 
riage with a coachman in grand livery, who sat waiting on his seat ?" 

Porthos had seen neither the footman nor the carriage, but, with the 
eye of a Jealous woman, Madame Coquenard had seen everything. 

Porthos regretted that he had not at once made the lady of the red 
cushion a princess. 

M Ah, you are quite the pet of the ladies, Monsieur Porthos !" re- 
sumed the procureuse, with a sigh. 

" Why, you may well imagine that, with the person with which nature 
has endowed me, I am not in want of ladies' favours." 

" Good Lord ! how quickly men forget !" cried the procureuse, raising 
her eyes towards heaven. 

" Still less quickly than the women, in my opinion," replied Porthos ; 
"as a proof, I, madame, I may say I was your victim ; when wounded, 
dying, I was abandoned by the surgeons ; I, the offspring of a noble 
family, who placed reliance upon your friendship, I was near dying of 
my wounds at first, and of hunger afterwards, in a beggarly auberge at 
Chantilly, without your ever deigning once to reply to the burning 
letters I addressed to you. 9 

"But, Monsieur Porthos," murmured the procureuse, who began to 
feel that, to judge by the conduct of the great ladies of the time, she was 

" I ! who had sacrificed the Countess de Penaflor on your account !" 


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*Well, I know you did." 

u The Baronne de " 

u Monsieur Porthos> do not overwhelm me quite !* 

"The Countess de " 

u Monsieur Porthos, be generous !" 

" You are right, madame, and I will not finish." 

u But it was my husband who would not hear of lending." 

" Madame Coauenard," said Porthos, " remember the first letter you 
wrote me, and which I preserve engraven in my memory." 

The procureuse uttered a groan. 

" Besides," said she, " the sum you required me to borrow was rather 
large ; you said you wanted a thousand livres !" 

" Madame Coquenard, I gave you the preference. I had but to write 

to the Duchess de ; but I won't repeat her name, for I am incapable 

of compromising a woman ; but this I know, that I had but to write 
to her, and she would have sent me fifteen hundred." 

The procureuse let fall a tear. 

" Monsieur Porthos," said she, u I can assure you you have severely 
punished me; and if in the time to come you should find yourself in a 
similar situation, you have but to apply to me." 

u Fie, madame, de !" said Porthos, as if disgusted ; " let us not talk 
about money, if you please ; it is humiliating." 

" Then you no longer love me ?" said the procureuse, slowly and 

Porthos maintained a majestic silence. 

" And that is the only reply you make me ? Alas ! I but too well 

" Think of the offence you have committed towards me, madame ! it 
remains here f said Porthos, placing his hand on his heart, and press- 
ing it strongly. 

" I will repair it ; indeed I will, my dear Porthos." 

" Besides, what did I ask of your" resumed Porthos, with a move- 
ment of the shoulders full of bonhommie. " A loan, nothing more ! After 
all, I am not an unreasonable man. I know you are not rich, Madame 
Coquenard, and that your husband is obliged to bleed his poor clients 
to squeeze a few paltry crowns from them. Oh ! if you were a duchess, 
a marquise, or a countess, it would be quite a different thing ; it would 
be unpardonable." 

The procureuse was piqued. 

" Please to know, Monsieur Porthos," said she, " that my strong box, 
strong box of a procureuse as it may be, is better filled than those of 
your ruined minxes." 

" That, then, doubles the offence," said Porthos, disengaging his arm 
from that of the procureuse ; " for, if you are rich, Madame Coquenard, 
then there is no excuse for your refusal." 

" When I said rich," replied the procureuse, who saw that she had 
gone too far, " you must not take the word for the letter. I am not pre- 
cisely rich, I am only pretty well off." 



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" Hold, madame,"said Porthos, "let us say no more upon the sub- 
ject, I beg of you. You don't know me, — all sympathy is extinct 
between us." 

" Ungrateful man as you are !" 

" Ah ! I advise you to complain !" said Porthos. 

" Begone, then, to your beautiful duchess, I will detain you no longer." 

" And she is not to be despised, in my opinion. ,, 

" Now, Monsieur Porthos, once more, and this is the last ! do you 
love me still ?" 

" Alas ! madame," said Porthos, in the most melancholy tone he 
could assume, " when we are about to enter upon a campaign, a cam- 
paign in which my presentiments tell me I shall be killed " 

"Oh ! don't talk of such things !" cried the procureuse, bursting into 

" Something whispers me so," continued Porthos, becoming still more 
and more melancholy. 

" Rather say that you have a new love affair." 

" No, not so : I speak frankly to you. No new object affects me ; and 
I even feel here, at the bottom of my heart, something which speaks for 
you. But in a fortnight's time, as you know, or as you do not know, 
this fatal campaign is to open ; I shall be fearfully engaged in providing 
for my equipment. Then I am obliged to make a journey to my family, 
in the lower part of Brittany, to obtain the sum necessary for my 

Porthos observed a last struggle between love and avarice. 

" And as," continued he, " the duchess you saw at the church has 
estates near to those of my family, we mean to make the journey 
together. Journeys, you know, appear much shorter when we travel 
two in company." 

" Have you no friends in Paris, then, Monsieur Porthos ?" said the 

" I thought I had," said Porthos, resuming his melancholy air ; " but 
I have been bitterly taught that I was mistaken." 

" You have some, Monsieur Porthos, you have some !" cried the 
procureuse, in a transport that surprised even herself ; " come to our 
house to-morrow. You are the son of my aunt, consequently my 
cousin ; you come from Noyon, in Picardy ; you have several law- 
suits and no procureur. Can you recollect all that ?" 

" Perfectly, madame." 

'• Come at dinner-time." 

" Very well.'' 

"And be upon your guard before my husband, who is rather shrewd, 
notwithstanding his seventy-six years." 

" Seventy-six years ! Peste ! that's a fine age !" replied Porthos. 

" A great age, you mean, Monsieur Porthos. Yes, the poor man may 
be expected to leave me a widow, every hour," continued she, throwing 
a significant glance at Porthos. " Fortunately, by our marriage-con- 
tract, the survivor takes everything." 


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" Everything ?" 

" Yes, all." 

" You are a woman of precaution, I see, my dear Madame Coque- 
nard," said Porthos, squeezing the hand of the procureuse tenderly. 

" We are, then, reconciled, dear Monsieur Porthos ?" said she, sim- 

" For life," said Porthos, in the same manner. 

" Till we meet again, then, dear traitor !" 

" Till we meet again, my forgetful charmer l" 

" To-morrow, my angel !" 

•' To-morrow, flame of my life !" 


d'artagnan and the englishman. 

D'ARTAGNAN followed milady, without being perceived by her ; he 
jaw her get into her carriage, and heard her order the coachman to 
drive to St. Germain. 

Jt was useless to endeavour to keep pace on foot with a carriage 
drawn by two powerful horses : D'Artagnan returned then to the Rue 

In the Rue de Seine he met with Planchet, who had stopped before 
(he house of a pastrycook, and was contemplating with ecstasy, a cake 
of the most appetising appearance. 

He ordered him to go and saddle two horses in M. de Tre'ville's 
stables, one for himself, D'Artagnan, and one for Planchet. M. de 
TreVille, on all common occasions, had allowed him the liberty to 
do so. 

Planchet proceeded towards the Rue du Colombier, and D'Artagnan 
t6wards the Rue FeYou. Athos was at home, emptying in solitary sad- 
ness one of his bottles of the famous Spanish wine he had brought 
back with him from Lis journey into Picardy. He made a sign for 
Grimaud to bring a glass for D'Artagnan, and Grimaud obeyed, still 
as silently as usual. 

D'Artagnan related to Athos all that had passed at the church be- 
tween Porthos and the procureuse, and how their comrade was probably 
by that time in a fair way to be equipped. 

" As for me," replied Athos, to this recital, " I am quite at my 
case ; it will not be women that will defray the expense of my equip- 

" The more to blame you ; handsome, well-bred, noble as you are, 
my dear Athos, neither princesses nor queens would be secure !" 

" How young this D'Artagnan is !" said Athos, shrugging his shoulders, 
and making a sign to Grimaud to bring another bottle. 

At that moment Planchet put his head modestly in at the half-open 
door, and told his master that the horses were ready. 

t* WJiat horses ?" asked Athos. f 


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" Two horses that M. de TreVille lends me when I please, and with 
which I am now going to take a ride to St. Germain." 

" Well, and what are you going to do at St. Germain ?" 

Then D'Artagnan described the meeting which, on his side, he had 
had at the church, and how he had found that lady who, with the 
seigneur in the black cloak, and with the scar near his temple, filled 
his mind constantly. 

" That is to say, you are in love with this lady as you were with 
Madame Bonacieux," said Athos, shrugging his shoulders contemptu- 
ously, as if he pitied human weakness. 

" I ? not at all !" said D'Artagnan, "lam only curious to unravel the 
mystery to which she is attached. I do not know why, but I have a 
strong feeling that this woman, perfectly unknown to me as she is, and 
unknown to her as I am, has an influence over my life.^ 

" Well, perhaps you are right," said Athos ; "I do not know a woman 
that is worth the trouble of being sought for when she is once lost. 
Madame Bonacieux is lost, so much the worse for her." 

" No, Athos, no, you are mistaken," said D'Artagnan ; " I love my 
poor Constance more than ever, and if I knew the place in which she 
is, were it at the end of the world, I would go and free her from the 
hands of her enemies ; but I cannot find out where she is, all my re- 
searches have proved in vain. What is to be said ? I must divert my 
attention by something !" 

" Amuse yourself, then, with milady, my dear D'Artagnan ; I wish 
you may with all my heart, if that will amuse you." 

" Hear me, Athos," said D'Artagnan, " instead of shutting yourself 
up here as if you were under arrest, get on horseback, and come and 
take a ride with me to St Germain." 

"My dear fellow," said Athos, " I ride horses when I have any ; when 
I have none, I walk on foot." 

" Well, on my part," said D'Artagnan, smiling at the misanthropy 
of Athos, which from any other person would certainly have offended 
him, " for my part, I ride what I can get ; I am not so proud as you, 
Athos. So, au revoir, my proud, melancholy friend." 

"Au revoir? said the musketeer, making a sign to Grimaud to un- 
cork the bottle he had just brought. 

D'Artagnan and Planchet got into the saddle, and took the road to 
St. Germain. 

As he rode along, that which Athos had said respecting Madame 
Bonacieux, recurred to the mind of the young man. Although D'Ar- 
tagnan was not of a very sentimental character, the mercer's pretty wife 
had made a real impression upon his heart. As he said, he was ready 
to go to the end of the world to seek her : but the world being round, 
it has many ends, so that he did not know which way to turn ; in the 
meantime, he was going to try to find out who milady was. Milady 
had spoken to the man in the black cloak, therefore she knew him. 
Now, in the opinion of D'Artagnan, it was certainly the man in the 
black cloak who had earned off Madame Bonacieux the second time, 


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as he had carried her off the first. D'Artagnan then onlv half lied, 
which is lying but little, when he said that by going in search of milady, 
he at the same time went in search of Constance. 

Thinking of all this, and from time to time giving a touch of the spur 
to his horse, D'Artagnan completed his short journey, and arrived at 
St Germain. He had just passed by the pavilion in which ten years 
later Louis XIV. was to be born. He rode up a very quiet street, look- 
ing to the right and the left to see if he could catch any vestige of his 
beautiful Englishwoman, when from the terrace in front of a* pretty 
house, which, according to the fashion of the time, had no window 
towards the street, he saw a face peep out with which he thought he 
was acquainted. This person walked along the terrace, which was 
ornamented with flowers. Planchet made out who it was first 

" Eh ! monsieur !" said he, addressing D'Artagnan, " don't you re- 
member that face which is gaping about yonder ?" 

" No," said D'Artagnan, "and yet I am certain it is not the first time 
I have seen it" 

" Parbleu ! I believe it is not," said Planchet ; "why, it is poor Lubin, 
the lackey of the Count de Wardes — he whom you so well accommo- 
dated a month ago, at Calais, on the road to the governor's country- 
house !" 

" So it is ! n said D'Artagnan ; " I know him now. Do you think he 
would recollect you Y 

" Ma foi ! monsieur, he was in such trouble, that I don't think he 
can have retained a very clear recollection of me." 

" Well, go and get into conversation with him, and make out, if you 
can, whether his master is dead or not." 

Planchet dismounted, and went straight up to Lubin, who did not at 
all remember him, and the two lackeys began to chat with the best 
understanding possible ; whilst D'Artagnan turned the two horses into 
a lane, and went round the house, coming back to watch the conference 
from behind a hedge of nut-trees. 

At the end of an instant's observation he heard the noise of a car- 
riage, and speedily saw that of milady stop opposite to him. He could 
not be mistaken — milady was in it D'Artagnan stooped down upon 
the neck of his horse, in order that he might see without being seen. 

Milady put her charming fair head out at the window, and gave her 
orders to her female attendant 

The latter, a pretty girl of about twenty years of age, active and 
lively, the true soubrette of a great lady, jumped from the step—upon 
which, according to the custom of the time, she was seated, — and took 
her way towards the terrace upon which D'Artagnan had perceived Lubin. 

D'Artagnan followed the soubrette with his eyes, and saw her go to- 
wards the terrace. But it happened that some one in the house called 
Lubin, so that Planchet remained alone, looking in all directions for 
his master. 

The femme de chambre approached Planchet, whom she took for 
Lubin, and holding out a little billet to him* 


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" For your master," said she. 

" For my master ?" replied Planchet, in astonishment. 

" Yes— and of consequence,— take it quickly." 

Thereupon she ran towards the carriage, which had turned round 
towards the way it came, jumped upon the step, and the carriage drove 

Planchet turned the billet on all sides ; then, accustomed to passive 
obedience, he jumped down from the terrace, ran towards the lane, and 
at the end of twenty paces met D'Artagnan, who, having seen all, was 
coming to him. 

" For you, monsieur," said Planchet, presenting the billet to the 
young man. 

" For me ! M said D'Artagnan,—" are you sure of that ?" 

" Pardieu ! monsieur, I can't be more sure. The soubrette said ( For 
your master. 1 I have no other master but you ; so — a pretty little lass, 
ma foi ! is that soubrette !" 

D'Artagnan opened the letter, and read these words : 

"A person who takes more interest in you than she is willing to con- 
fess, wishes to know on what day it will suit you to walk in the forest ? 
To-morrow, at the Hdtel du Champ du Drap d'Or, a lackey in black 
and red will wait for your reply." 

" Oh ! oh !" said D'Artagnan, " this is rather warm.; it appears thnt 
milady and I are anxious about the health of the same person. Well, 
Planchet, how is the good M. de Wardes ! he is not dead, then ?' 

" Oh, no, monsieur, he is as well as a man can be with four sword- 
wounds in his body ; fsr you, without question, inflicted four upon the 
dear gentleman, and he is still very weak, having lost almost all his blood. 
As I said, monsieur, Lubin did not know me, and told me our adven- 
ture from one end to the other." 

" Well done, Planchet ! you are the king of lackeys. Now jump up on 
your horse, and let us overtake the carriage." 

They soon effected this. At the end of five minutes they perceived 
the carriage drawn up by the road-side : a cavalier, richly dressed, wa> 
close to the coach-door. 

The conversation between milady and the cavalier was so animated, 
that D'Artagnan stopped on the other side of the carriage without any 
one but the pretty soubrette being aware of his presence. 

The conversation took place in English,— a language which D'Artag- 
nan could not understand ; but, by the accent, the young man plainly 
saw that the beautiful Englishwoman was in a great rage : she ter- 
minated it by an action which left no doubt as to the nature of this con- 
versation — this was a blow with her fan, applied with such force that 
the little feminine weapon flew into a thousand pieces. 

The cavalier broke into a loud laugh, which appeared to exasperate 
milady still more. 

D'Artagnan thought this was the moment to interfere ; he approached 
the other door, and taking off his hat respectfully, — 

" Madame," said he, " will you permit me to offer you my services ? 


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It appears to me that this cavalier has made you veiy angry. Speak 
one word, madame, and 1 take upon myself to punish him for his want 
of courtesy." 

At the first word, milady turned round, looking at the young man 
with astonishment ; and when he had finished, — 

" Monsieur," said she, in very good French, " I should with great con- 
fidence place myself under your protection, if the person with whom I 
quarrel were not my brother." 

" Ah ! excuse me, then," said D'Artagnan, " you must be aware that 
I was ignorant of that, madame !" 

'•What is that stupid fellow troubling himself about ?" cried the 
cavalier, whom milady had designated as her brother, stooping down 
to the height of the coach window, — " why does not he go about his 
own business ?' 

" Stupid fellow yourself !" said D'Artagnan, stooping in his turn on 
the neck of his horse, and answering on his side through the carriage- 
window. " I do not go on, because it pleases me to stop here." 

The cavalier addressed some words in English to his sister. 

" I speak to you in French," said D'Artagnan ; " be kind enough, 
then, to reply to me in the same language. You are madame's brother, 
I learn, — be it so ; but, fortunately, you are not mine." 

It might be thought that milady, timid as women are in general, would 
have interposed in this commencement of mutual provocations, in order 
to prevent the quarrel from going too far ; but, on the contrary, she 
threw herself back in her carriage, and called out coolly to the coach- 
man, '• Go on—home !" 

The pretty soubrette cast an anxious glance at D'Artagnan, whose 
good looks seemed to have made an impression upon her. 

The carriage went on, and left the two men in face of each other ; 
no material obstacle separated them. 

The cavalier made a movement, as if to follow the carriage; but 
D'Artagnan, whose anger, already excited, was much increased by recog- 
nising in him the Englishman of Amiens, who had won his horse and 
was very near winning his diamond of Athos, caught at his bridle and 
stopped him. 

u Well, monsieur !" said he ; " you appear to be more stupid than I 
am, for you forget there is a little quarrel to arrange between us two." 

" Ah ! ah !" said the Englishman ; " is it you, my master ? It seems 
you must always be playing some game or other." 

" Yes ; and that reminds me that I have a revenge to take. We will 
see, my dear monsieur, if you can handle a sword as skilfully as you can 
a dice-box." 

" Y*u see plainly that I have no sword," said the Englishman. " Do 
you wish to play the braggart with an unarmed man ?" 

44 1 hope you have a sword at home ; but, at all events, I have two, 
and, if you like, I will throw with you for one of them." 

" Quite unnecessary," said the Englishman ; " I am well furnished 
with such sorts of playthings." 


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u Very well ! ray worthy gentleman," replied D'Artagnan ; " pick out 
the longest, and come and show it to me this evening." 


M Behind the Luxembourg ; that's a charming spot for such amuse- 
ments as the one I propose to you." 

" That will do ; I will be there." 

"Your hour r" 

" Six o'clock." 

" Apropos, you have probably one or two friends r* 

" Humph ! I have three whowould be honoured by joining in the 
sport with me." 

" Three 1 that's fortunate ! That falls out oddly ! Three is just my 
number !" 

" Now then, who are you ?" asked the Englishman. 

" I am M. d'Artagnan, a Gascon gentleman, serving in the guards, in 
the company of M. des Essarts. And you ?" 

" I am the Lord de Winter, Baron of Scheffield." 

" Well, then, I am your servant, monsieur le baron," said D'Artagnan, 
" though you have names rather difficult to recollect." 

And touching his horse with the spur, he cantered back to Paris. 

As he was accustomed to do in all cases of any consequence, D'Ar- 
tagnan went straight to the residence of Athos. 

He found Athos reclining upon a large sofa, where he was waiting, as 
he said, for his equipment to come and find him. 

He related to Athos all that had passed, except the letter to M. de 

Athos was delighted to find he was going to fight an Englishman. 
We are aware that that was his dream. 

They immediately sent their lackeys for Porthos and Aramis, and, on 
their arrival, made them acquainted with the affair in hand. 

Porthos drew his sword from the scabbard, and made passes at the 
wall, springing back from time to time, and making contortions like a 

Aramis, who was constantly at work at his poem, shut himself up in 
Athos's closet, and begged not to be disturbed before the moment of 
drawing swords. 

Athos, by signs, desired Grimaud to bring another bottle of wine. 

And D'Artagnan employed himself in arranging a little plan, of which 
we shall hereafter see the execution, and which promised him some 
agreeable adventure, as might be seen by the smiles which from time to 
time passed over his countenance, the thoughtfulness of which they 


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The hour being come, they, with their four lackeys, repaired to a spot 
behind the Luxembourg given up to the feeding of goats. Athos threw 
a piece of money to the goat-keeper to remove his flock to a distance. 
The lackeys were charged to act as sentinels. 

A silent party soon drew near to the same enclosure, penetrated into 
it, and joined the musketeers : then, according to the English custom, 
thepresentations took place. 

The Englishmen were all men of rank ; consequently, the extraordi- 
nary names of their adversaries were, for them, not only a matter of 
surprise, but of uneasiness. 

"But, after all this," said Lord de Winter, when the three friends had 
been named, " we do not know who you are ; as gentlemen, we cannot 
fight with such ; why, they are nothing but shepherds' names." 

44 Therefore your lordship may suppose they are only assumed names," 
said Athos. 

" Which only gives, us a greater desire to know the real ones," replied 

44 You gambled very willingly with us without knowing our names," 
said Athos, *' as is plain by your having won our horses. 

44 That is true, but we then only risked our pistoles ; this time we risk 
our blood : we play with anybody, but we only fight with our equals " 

44 And that is but just," said Athos, and he took aside that one of the 
four Englishmen with whom he was to fight, and communicated his 
name in a low voice. 

Porthos and Aramis did the same. 

44 Does that satisfy you ?" said Athos to his adversary ; " do you think 
me sufficiently noble to do me the honour of crossing swords with me r* 

44 Yes, monsieur," said the Englishman, bowing. 

44 Well ! now shall I tell you another thing ?" said Athos, coolly. 

44 What is that ?" replied the Englishman. 

44 Why, that is, that you would have acted much more wisely if you 
had not required me to make myself known." 

44 Why so?" 

44 Because I am believed to be dead, and have reasons for wishing 
nobody should know I am living, so that I shall be obliged to kill you to 
prevent my secret getting wind." 

The Englishman looked at Athos, believing that he was joking, but 
Athos was not joking the least in the world. 

44 Gentlemen," said Athos, addressing at the same time his com- 
panions and their adversaries, 44 are we ready ?* 

44 Yes !" answered the Englishmen and the Frenchmen, as with one 

44 Guard, then !" cried Athos. 

And immediately eight swords glittered in the rays of the setting sun, 
and the combat began with an animosity very natural to men who hag 
been twice enemies. 


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Athos fenced with as much calmness and method as if he had been 
practising in a school. 

Porthos, corrected, no doubt, of his too great confidence by his adven- 
ture of Chantilly, played v/'nh finesse and prudence. 

Aramis, who had the third canto of his poem to finish, made all the 
despatch of a man very much pressed for time. 

Athos, the first, killed his adversary : he hit him but once, but, as he 
had foretold, that hit was a mortal one — the sword passed through his 

Porthos, the second, stretched his upon the grass, with a wound 
through his thigh ; and as the Englishman, without making any further 
resistance, then surrendered his sword, Porthos took him up in his arms 
and carried him to his carriage. 

Aramis pushed his so vigorously, that after going back fifty paces, he 
finished by fairly taking to his heels, and disappeared amid the hooting 
of the lackeys. 

As to D'Artagnan, he fought purely and simply on the defensive ; and 
when he saw his adversary pretty well fatigued with a vigorous side- 
thrust he twisted the sword from his grasp, and sent it glittering 
into the air. The baron finding himself disarmed, gave two or three 
paces back, but in this movement, his foot slipped and he fell. 

D'Artagnan was over him at a bound, and pointing his sword to his 
throat, — 

" 1 could kill you, milord," said he to the Englishman • " you are 
completely at my mercy, but I spare your life for the sake of your 

D'Artagnan was at the height of joy ; he had realised the plan which 
he had fancied, the development of which had produced the smiles upon 
his face we mentioned. 

The Englishman, delighted at having to do with a gentleman of such 
a kind disposition, pressed D'Artagnan in his arms and paid a thousand 
compliments to the three musketeers, and, as Porthos's adversary was 
already installed in the carriage, and as Aramis's had run away, they had 
nothing to think about but the defunct. 

As Porthos and Aramis were undressing him in the hope of finding 
his wound not mortal, a large purse dropped from his clothes. D'Ar- 
tagnan picked it up and held it out to Lord de Winter. 

" What the devil would you have me to do with that ?" said the Eng- 

" You can restore it to his family," said D'Artagnan. 

*' His family will care vastly about such a trifle as that ! his family 
will inherit fifteen thousand louis a year from him : keep the purse for 
your lackeys." 

D'Artagnan put the purse into his pocket. 

" And now, my young friend, if you will permit me, I hope to give 
you that name," said Lord de Winter, " on this very evening, if agree- 
able to you, I will present you to my sister, Lady Clarik ; for I* am 
desirqus that she should fake you into her good graces ; and as she is 


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riot in bad odour at court, she may perhaps, on some future day, speak 
a word that will not prove useless to you." 

D'Artagnan blushed with pleasure, and bowed a sign of assent. 

At this time Athos came up to D'Artagnan : 

M What do you mean to do with that purse T whispered he. 

" Why, I meant to pass it over to you, my dear Athos." 

'* Me ! why to me r" 

" The devil ! why you killed him, didn't you ? They are the spolia 

" I, the heir of an enemy !" said Athos, " for whom then do you take 

*' It is the custom in war," said D'Artagnan, " why should it not be 
the custom in a duel ?" 

" Even on the field of battle, I have never done that." 

Porthos shrugged his shoulders ; Aramis by a movement of his lips 
applauded the opinion of Athos. 

4< Then," said D'Artagnan, " let us give the money to the lackeys, as 
Lord de Winter desired us to do." 

" Yes," said Athos, " let us give the money to the lackeys, but not to 
our lackeys, to the lackeys of the Englishmen." 

Athos took the purse, and threw it into the hand of the coach • 

" For you and your comrades," said he. 

This greatness of spirit in a man who was quite destitute, struck even 
Porthos, and this trait of French generosity, repeated by Lord de Winter 
and his friend, was highly applauded by every one, except MM. Gri- 
maud, Bazin, Mousqueton, and Planchet. 

Lord de Winter, on quitting D'Artagnan, gave him his sister's ad- 
dress ; she lived, No. 6, Place Royale, then the fashionable quarter, 
and undertook to call and take him with him in order to introduce him. 
D'Artagnan appointed eight o'clock at Athos's residence. 

This introduction to Lady Clarik occupied the head of our Gascon 
greatly. He remembered in what a strange manner this woman had 
hitherto been mixed up in his destiny. According to his conviction, 
she was some creature of the cardinal's, and yet he felt himself invin- 
cibly drawn towards her by one of those sentiments for which we cannot 
account. His only fear was that milady would recognise in him the 
man of Meung and of Dover. Then she knew that he was one of the 
friends of M. de Trdville, and, consequently, that he belonged body and 
soul to the king, which would make him lose a part of his advantage, 
since when known to milady as he knew her, he played only an equal 
game with her. As to the commencement of an intrigue between her 
and M. de Wardes, our presumptuous hero gave but little heed to that, 
although the marquis was young, handsome, rich, and high in the 
cardinal's favour. It is not for nothing we are but twenty years old, 
particularly if we were born at Tarbes. 

D'Artagnan began by making his most splendid toilette ; then re- 
turned to Athos's, and, according to custom, related everything to him. 


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Athos listened attentively to his projects ; then, shook his head, and 
recommended prudence to him with a shade of bitterness. 

" What !" said he, " you have just lost one woman, who, you say, was 
good, charming, perfect, and here you are, running headlong after 
another !" 

D'Artagnan felt the truth of this reproach. 

" I loved Madame Bonacieux with my heart, whilst I only love milady 
with my head," said he ; a by getting introduced to her, my principal 
object is to ascertain what part she plays at court 1 ' 

" The part she plays at court, pardieu ! it is not difficult to divine that, 
after all you have told me. She is some emissary of the cardinal's ; a 
woman who will draw you into a snare, in which you will leave your 

u The devil ! my dear Athos, you view things on the dark side, me- 

" D'Artagnan. I mistrust women : can it be otherwise ! I bought ray 
experience dearly — particularly fair women. Milady is fair, you say ?" 

" She has the most beautiful light hair imaginable !" 

" Ah ! my poor D'Artagnan !" said Athos. 

" Well, but listen to me : I want to be enlightened on a subject : then, 
when I shall have learned what I desire to know, I will withdraw." 

" Be enlightened !" said Athos, phlegmatically. 

Lord de Winter arrived at the appointed time, but Athos, being 
warned of his coming, went into the other chamber. He found D'Ar- 
tagnan alone then, and as it was nearly eight o'clock, he took the young 
man with him. 

An elegant carriage waited below, and as it was drawn by two excel- 
lent horses, they were soon at the Place Royale. 

Milady Clarik received D'Artagnan ceremoniously. Her hotel was 
remarkably sumptuous ; and, whilst the most part of the English had 
quitted, or were about to quit France, on account of the war, milady 
had just been laying out much money upon her residence ; which 
proved that the general measure which drove the English from France, 
did not affect her. 

" You see," said Lord de Winter, presenting D'Artagnan to his sister, 
"a young gentleman who has held my life in his hands, and who has 
not abused his advantage, although we had been twice enemies, although 
it was I who insulted him, and although I am an Englishman. Thank 
him then, madame, if you have any affection for me." 

Milady frowned slightly, a scarcely visible cloud passed over her brow, 
and so peculiar a smile appeared upon her lips, that the young man 
who saw and observed this triple shade, almost shuddered at it. 

The brother did not perceive this ; he had turned round to play with 
milady's favourite monkey, which had pulled him by the doublet. 

" You are welcome, monsieur," said milady, in a voice whose singular 
sweetness contrasted with the symptoms of ill- humour which D'Artag- 
nan had just remarked, — " you have to-day acquired eternal rights to 
my gratitude." 


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The Englishman then turned round, and described the combat with- 
out omitting a single detail Milady listened with the greatest atten- 
tion, and yet it was easily to be perceived, whatever effort she made to 
conceal her impressions, that this recital was not agreeable to her. The 
blood rose to her head, and her little foot worked with impatience be- 
neath her robe. 

Lord de Winter perceived nothing of this. When he had finished, 
he went to a table upon which was a salver with Spanish wine and 
glasses. He filled two, and by a sign, invited D'Artagnan to drink. 

D'Artagnan knew it was considered disobliging by an Englishman to 
refuse to pledge him ; therefore, drew near to the table, and took the 
second glass. He did not, however, lose sight of milady, and in a 
mirror perceived the change that took place in her face. Now that she 
believed herself to be no longer observed, a sentiment which resembled 
ferocity animated her countenance. She bit her handkerchief with all 
her might. 

That pretty little soubrette that D'Artagnan had already observed, 
then came in ; she spoke some words to Lord de Winter in English ; 
and he immediately requested D'Artagnan's permission to retire, ex- 
cusing himself on account of the urgency of the business that called 
him away, and charging his sister to obtain his pardon. 

D'Artagnan exchanged a shake of the hand with Lord de Winter, 
and then returned to milady. Her countenance, with surprising mo- 
bility, had recovered its gracious expression, but some little red spots 
upon her handkerchief indicated that she had bitten her lips till the 
blood came. Those lips were magnificent ! they might be said to be of 

The conversation took a cheerful turn. Milady appeared to be 
entirely recovered. She told D'Artagnan that Lord de Winter was her 
brother-in-law, and not her brother ; she had married a younger brother 
of the family, who had left her a widow with one child. This child was 
the only heir to Lord de Winter, if Lord de Winter did not marry. All 
this showed D'Artagnan that there was a veil which enveloped some- 
thing, but he could not yet see under this veil. 

In addition to this, after half an hour's conversation, D'Artagnan was 
convinced that milady was his compatriot ; she spoke French with an 
elegance and a purity that left no doubt on that head. 

D'Artagnan was profuse in gallant speeches and protestations of 
devotedness. To all the simple things which escaped our Gascon, 
milady replied with a smile of kindness. The hour for retiring arrived. 
D'Artagnan took leave of milady, and left the salon the happiest of 

Upon the stairs he met the pretty soubrette, who brushed gently 
against him as she passed, and then, blushing to the eyes, asked his 
pardon for having touched him, in a voice so sweet, that the pardon 
was granted instantly. 

D'Artagnan came again on the morrow, and was still better received 
than on the day before. Lord dc Winter was not at home, and it was 


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milady who this time did all the honours of the evening. She appeared 
to take a great interest in him, asked him whence he came, who were 
his friends, and whether he had not at some times thought of attaching 
himself to M. le Cardinal. 

D'Artagnan who, as we have said, was exceedingly prudent for a young 
man of twenty, then remembered his suspicions regarding milady ; he 
launched into an eulogy of his eminence, and said that he should not 
have failed to enter into the guards of the cardinal instead of the king's 
guards, if he had happened to know M. de Cavois instead of M. de 

Milady changed the conversation without any appearance of affecta- 
tion, and asked D'Artagnan in the most careless manner possible, if he 
had never been in England. 

D'Artagnan replied that he had been sent thither by M. de TreVille, 
to treat for a number of horses, and that he had brought back four as 

Milady, in the course of her conversation, twice or thrice bit her 
lips ; she had to deal with a Gascon who played close. 

At the same hour as the preceding evening D'Artagnan retired. In 
the corridor he again met the pretty Kitty ; that was the name of the 
soubrette. She looked at him with an expression of kindness which it 
was impossible to mistake. But D'Artagnan was so preoccupied by the 
mistress, that he remarked nothing but her. 

D'Artagnan came again on the morrow and the day after that, and 
each day milady gave him a more gracious welcome. 

Every evening, either in the antechamber, the corridor, or on the 
stairs, he met the pretty soubrette. But, as we have said, D'Artagnan 
paid no attention to this. 



However brilliant had been the part played by Porthos in the duel, 
it had not made him forget the dinner of his procureuse. 

On the morrow he received the last polishing brush from the hand of 
Mousqueton, and took his way towards the Rue aux Ours, with the step 
of a man who was doubly in favour with fortune. 

His heart beat, but not like D'Artagnan's, with a young and impatient 
love. No, a more material interest stirred his blood : he was about at 
last to pass that mysterious threshold, to climb those unknown stairs by 
which, one by one, the old crowns of Master Coquenard had ascended. 
He was about to see, in reality, a certain coffer, of which he had twenty 
times beheld the image in his dreams ; a coffer, long and deep, locked, 
bolted, fixed in the wall ; a coffer of which he had so often heard speak, 
and which the hands, a little wrinkled, it is true, but still not without 
elegance, of the procureuse were about to open to his admiring looks. 

And then he, a wanderer on the earth, a man without fortune, a man 


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without family, a soldier accustomed to auberges, cabarets, taverns, and 
parades, a lover of wine forced to depend upon chance treats, — he was 
about to partake of family meals, to enjoy the pleasures of a comfortable 
establishment, and to give himself up to those little attentions, which 
the harder one is the more they please, as the old soldiers say. 

To come in quality of a cousin, and seat himself every day at a good 
table, to smooth the yellow, wrinkled brow of the old procureur, to pluck 
the clerks a little by teaching them bassette y passe-dix, and lansquenet, 
in their utmost finesse, and by winning of them, by way of fee for the 
lesson he would give them in an hour, their savings of a month — all 
this was enormously delightful in prospect to Porthos. 

The musketeer could not forget the evil reports which then prevailed, 
and which indeed have survived them, of the procureurs of the period : 
meanness, stinginess, fasts ; but as, after all, excepting some few acts of 
economy, which Porthos had always found very unseasonable, the pro- 
cureuse had been tolerably liberal— that is, be it understood, for a 
procureuse— he hoped to see a household of a highly comfortable 

And yet, at the very door, the musketeer began to entertain some 
doubts ; the approach was not such as to prepossess people ; an ill- 
smelling, dark passage, a staircase half lighted by bars through which 
stole a glimmer from a neighbouring yard ; on the first floor a low door 
studded with enormous nails, like the principal gate of the Grand 

Porthos knocked with his finger ; a tall, pale clerk, with a face shaded 
by a forest of undipped hair, opened the door, and bowed with the air 
of a man forced to respect in another lofty stature, which indicated 
strength, the military dress, which indicated rank, and a ruddy counte- 
nance, which indicated being accustomed to good living. 

Another shorter clerk behind the first, another taller clerk behind 
the second, another stripling of twelve years old behind the third — in 
all, three clerks and a half, which, for the time, argued a very extensive 

Although the musketeer was not expected before one o'clock, the 
procureuse had been upon the watch ever since twelve, reckoning that 
the heart, or perhaps the stomach of her lover, would bring him before 
his time. 

Madame Coquenard therefore entered the office from the house at 
the same moment that her guest entered from the stairs, and the ap- 
pearance of the worthy lady relieved him from an awkward embarrass- 
ment The clerks surveyed him with great curiosity, and he, not know- 
ing well what to say to this ascending and descending scale, remained 

" It is my cousin \ n cried the procureuse ; " come in ! come in ! my 
dear Monsieur Porthos !" 

The name of Porthos produced its effect upon the clerks, who began 
to laugh ; but Porthos turned sharply round, and every countenance 
quickly recovered its gravity. 



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They arrived in the closet of the procureur, after having passed 
through the antechamber in which the clerks were, and the office in 
which they ought to have been ; this last apartment was a sort of dark 
room, covered with waste paper. On leaving the office, the kitchen was 
on the right, and they entered the principal room, or, as we should now 
cay, drawing-room. 

All these chambers, which communicated with each other, did not 
inspire Porthos with the most favourable ideas. Words might be heard 
at a distance through all these open doors ; and then, whilst passing, he 
had cast a rapid, investigating glance into the kitchen, and he was 
obliged to confess to himself, to the shame of the procu reuse, and his 
own regret, that he did not see that fire, that bustle, which, while a good 
repast is about to be produced, prevails generally in that sanctuary of 
good living. 

The procureur had without doubt been warned of his visit, as he 
expressed no surprise at the sight of Porthos, who advanced towards 
him with a sufficiently familiar air, and saluted him courteously. 

"We are cousins, it appears, Monsieur Porthos r* said the pro- 
cureur, rising, by supporting his weight upon the arms of his cane- 

The old man, enveloped in a large black doublet, in which the whole 
of his slender body was concealed, was brisk and dry ; his little grey 
eyes shone like carbuncles, and appeared, with his grinning mouth, to 
be the only part of his face in which life survived. Unfortunately, the 
legs began to refuse their service to this bony machine ; during the last 
five or six months that this weakness had been felt, the worthy pro- 
cureur had nearly become the slave of his wife. 

The cousin was received with resignation, that was all. Master Co- 
quenard firm upon his legs, would have declined all relationship with 
M. Porthos. 

" Yes, monsieur, we are cousins," said Porthos, without being discon- 
certed, as he had never reckoned upon being received enthusiastically 
by the husband. 

" By the female side, I believe r* said the procureur, -maliciously. 

Porthos did not feel the ridicule of this, and took it tor a piece of sim- 
plicity at which he laughed in his large moustache. Madame Coque- 
nard, who knew that a simple procureur was a very rare variety in the 
species, smiled a little, and coloured a great deal 

Master Coquenard had, from the arrival of Porthos, frequently cast 
his eyes with great uneasiness upon a large chest placed in front of his 
oak desk. Porthos comprehended that this chest, although it did not 
correspond in shape with that which he had seen in his dreams, must 
be the blessed coffer, and he congratulated himself that the reality was 
several feet higher than the dream. 

Monsieur Coquenard did not carry his genealogical investigations any 
further ; but, withdrawing his anxious look from the chest, and fixing 
it upon Porthos, he contented himself with saying : " Monsieur, our 
cousin, will do us the favour of dining with us once before his depar- 
ture for the campaign, will he not, Madame Coquenard ?' 


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This time, Porthos received the blow right in his stomach, and felt it 
It appeared, likewise, that Madame Coquenard was not less affected by 
it on her part, for she added : 

" My cousin will not return if he finds that we do not treat him 
kindly ; but, otherwise, he has so little time to pass in Paris, and conse- 
quently to spare to us, that we must entreat him to give us every instant 
he can call his own previously to his departure." 

" Oh my legs ! my poor legs ! where are you V murmured Coquenard, 
and he endeavoured to smile. 

This succour, which Porthos received at the moment in which he was 
attacked in his gastronomic hopes, inspired much gratitude in the mus- 
keteer for the procureuse. 

The hour of dinner soon arrived. They passed into the eating-room, 
a large dark apartment situated opposite to the kitchen. 

The clerks who, as it appeared, had smelt unusual perfumes in the 
house, were of military punctuality, and stood with their stools in their 
hands, quite ready to sit down. Their jaws moved preliminarily with 
fearful threatenings. 

" Indeed P thought Porthos, casting a glance at the three hungry 
clerks, for the lad was not, as might be expected, admitted to the honours 
of the master's table 5 " indeed ! in ray cousin's place, I would not keep 
such gluttonous-looking fellows as these ! Why, they have the appear- 
ance of shipwrecked sailors who have had nothing to eat for six 

Monsieur Coquenard entered, pushed along upon his chair with 
castors by Madame Coquenard, whom Porthos assisted in rolling her 
husband up to the table. 

He had scarcely entered when he began to agitate his nose and his 
jaws after the example of his clerks. 

" Oh, oh P said he ; " here is a potage which is rather inviting P 

" What the devil can they smell so extraordinary in this potage ?" 
said Porthos, at the sight of a pale bouillon, abundant, but perfectly 
free from meat, and upon the surface of which a few crusts swam about, 
as wide apart as the islands of an archipelago. 

Madame Coquenard smiled, and upon a sign from her every one 
eagerly took his seat. 

Master Coquenard was served first, then Porthos ; afterwards 
Madame Coquenard filled her own plate, and distributed the crusts 
without bouillon to the impatient clerks. At this moment the door of 
the dining-room opened of itself with a creak, and Porthos perceived 
the little clerk, who, not being allowed to take part in the feast, ate his 
dry bread in the passage, by which he gave it the double relish of the 
odour which came from the dining-room and the kitchen. 

After the potage the maid brought in a boiled fowl, a piece of magni- 
ficence which caused the eyes of the usual guests to dilate in a manner 
that threatened injury to them. 

" One may see that you love your family, Madame Coquenard, w said 
the procureur, with a smile that was almost tragic : " you are certainly 
treating your cousin very handsomely P 17—2 


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The poor fowl was thin, and covered with one of those thick bristly 
skins through which the teeth cannot penetrate with all their efforts. 
The fowl must have been sought for a long time on the perch, to which 
it had retired to die of old age. 

" The devil !" thought Porthos, " this is poor work ! I respect old 
age ; but I don't think much of it boiled or roasted." 

And he looked round to see if anybody partook of his opinion ; but, 
on the contrary, he saw nothing but eager eyes which were devouring, 
in anticipation, that sublime fowl which was the object of his con- 

Madame Coquenard drew the dish towards her, skilfully detached the 
two great black feet, which she placed upon her husband's plate ; cut off 
the neck, which, with the head, she put on one side for herself; raised 
the wing for Porthos, and then returned to the servant who had 
brought it in, the animal, otherwise intact, and which had disappeared 
before the musketeer had had time to examine the variations which 
disappointment produces upon faces, according to the characters and 
temperaments of those who experience it. 

In the place of the fowl, a dish of haricot beans made its appearance ; 
an enormous dish, in which some bones of mutton, which, at first sight, 
might have been supposed to have some meat on them, pretended to 
show themselves. 

But the clerks were not the dupes of this deceit, and their lugubrious 
looks settled down into resigned countenances. 

Madame Coquenard distributed this dish to the young men with the 
moderation of a good housewife. 

The time for taking wine was come. Master Coquenard poured, from 
a very small stone bottle, the third of a glass to each of the young men, 
served himself in about the same proportion, and passed the bottle to 
Porthos and Madame Coquenard. 

The young men filled up their third of a glass with water ; then, 
when they had drunk half the glass, they fiRed it up again, and conti- 
nued to do so ; which brought them, by the end of the repast, to the 
swallowing of a drink which, from the colour of the ruby, had passed to 
that of a pale topaz. 

Porthos ate his wing of the fowl very timidly, and shuddered when he 
felt the knee of the procureuse under the table, as it came in search of 
his. He also drank half a glass of this sparingly served wine, and found 
it to be nothing but that horrible Montreuil, the terror ot all practised 

Master Coquenard saw him swallowing this wine undiluted, and 
sighed deeply. 

" Will you eat any of these beans, cousin Porthos ? f said Madame 
Coquenard, in that tone which says, " Take my advice, don't touch 

" Devil take me if I taste one of them ! w murmured Porthos ; and 
then aloud : 

44 Thank you, my dear cousin, I have no more appetite." 


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A general silence prevailed. Porthos was quite at a loss. The pro* 
cureur repeated several times : 

*'Ah! Madame Coquenard ! accept my compliments; your dinner 
has been a real feast. Lord ! bow 1 have eaten !*' 

Master Coquenard had eaten his potage, the black feet of the fowl, 
and the only mutton bone on which there was the least appearance of 

Porthos fancied they were mystifying him, and began to curl his 
moustache and knit his eyebrow ; but the knee of Madame Coquenard 
came, and gently advised him to be patient 

This silence and this interruption in serving, which were unintelligible 
to Porthos, had, on the contrary, a terrible meaning for the clerks ; upon 
a look from the procureur, accompanied by a smile from Madame 
Coquenard, they arose slowly from table, folded their napkins more 
slowly still, bowed, and retired. 

" Go, young men ; go and promote digestion by working," said the 
procureur gravely. 

The clerks being gone, Madame Coquenard rose and took from a 
buffet a piece of cheese, some preserved quinces, and a cake which she 
had herself made of almonds and honey. 

Master Coquenard knitted his eyebrows because there were too many 
good things ; Porthos bit his lips because there was not enough for a 
man's dinner. He looked to see if the dish of beans were gone ; the 
dish of beans had disappeared. 

" A positive feast S" cried Master Coquenard, turning about in his 
chair ; " a real feast, epulce efiulorum; Lucullus dines with Lucullus." 

Porthos looked at the bottle, which was near him, and hoped that 
with wine, bread and cheese, he might make a dinner, but wine was 
wanting, the bottle was empty ; Monsieur and Madame Coquenard did 
not seem to observe it 

" This is very fine !" thought Porthos to himself, " I am prettily 
caught !" 

He passed his tongue over a spoonful of preserves, and stuck his teeth 
into the sticky pastry of Madame Coquenard. 

" Now," said he, " the sacrifice is consummated ! Ah ! if I had not 
the hopes of having a peep with Madame Coquenard into her husband's 
chest r 

Master Coquenard, after the luxuries of such a repast, which he called 
an excess, felt the want of a siesta. Porthos began to hope that the thing 
would take place at the present sitting, and in that same locality ; but 
the procureur would listen to nothing ; he would be taken to his cham- 
ber, and was not satisfied till he was close to his chest, upon the edge 
of which, for still greater precaution, he placed his feet. 

The procureuse took Porthos into an adjoining chamber, and they 
began to lay the basis of reconciliation. 

"You can come and dine three times a week," said Madame 

u Thanks, madame l" said Porthos, " but I don't like tp abuse your 
kindness ; besides, I must think of this equipment." 


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"That's true," said the procureuse, groaning — " that unfortunate 
equipment !" 

" Alas ! yes/' said Porthos, " it is so." 

" But of what, then, does the equipment of your corps consist, Mon- 
sieur Porthos Y* 

" Oh ! of many things," said Porthos, " the musketeers are, as you 
know, picked soldiers, and they require many things that are useless to 
the guards or the Swiss." 

" But yet, detail them to me." 

" Why, they may amount to " said Porthos, who preferred dis- 
cussing the total to taking them one by one. 

The procureuse waited tremblingly. 

" To how much f* said she, " I hope it does not exceed * She 

stopped, speech failed her. 

" Oh ! no," said Porthos, " it does not exceed two thousand five hun- 
dred livres ; I even think that, with economy, I could manage it with 
two thousand livres." 

" Good God !" cried she, c< two thousand livres J why that is a for- 
tune 1" 

Porthos made a most significant grimace ; Madame Coquenard 
understood it. 

" I only wished to know the detail," said she, " because having many 
relations in business, I was almost sure of obtaining things at a hundred 
per cent less than you could get them yourself." 

" Ah ! ah !" said Porthos, " if that is what you meant to say ?" 

" Yes, my dear Monsieur Porthos ; thus, for instance, don't you, in the 
first place want a horse !" 

"Yes, a horse." 

" Well, then I I can just suit you." 

" Ah !" said Porthos, brightening, " that's well as regards my horse, 
then ; but I must have the horse appointments complete, which are 
composed of objects that a musketeer alone can purchase, and which 
will not amount, besides, to more than three hundred livres." 

" Three hundred livres ; then put down three hundred livres," said the 
procureuse, with a sigh. 

Porthos smiled ; it may be remembered that he had the saddle which 
came from Buckingham ; these three hundred livres then he reckoned 
upon putting snugly into his pocket. 

" Then," continued he, " there is a horse for my lackey and my valise ; 
as to my arms it is useless to trouble you about them, I have them." 

" A horse for your lackey ?" resumed the procureuse, hesitatingly ; 
" but that is doing things in a very noble style, my friend." 

" Well, madame !" said Porthos, haughtily ; " do you take me for a 

" No, no ; I only thought that a pretty mule made sometimes as good 
an appearance as a horse, and it seemed to me that by getting a pretty 
mule for Mousqueton " 

"Well, agreed for a pretty mule;' said Porthos ; " you are right, I 


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have seen very great Spanish nobles, whose whole suite were mounted 
on mules. But then you understand, Madame Coquenard, a mule with 
feathers and bells." 

" Be satisfied," said the procureuse. 

" Then there remains the valise." 

M Oh ! don't let that disturb you, n cried Madame Coquenard, " my 
husband has five or six valises, you shall choose the best ; there is one in 
particular, which he prefers himself whenever he travels, large enough 
to hold all the world." 

" Your valise is then empty ?" asked Porthos, with simplicity 

" Certainly it is empty," replied the procureuse, really simply, on her 

" Ah ! but the valise I want," cried Porthos, " is a well-filled one, 
my dear." 

Madame uttered fresh sighs. Moliere had not written his scene in 
L'Avare then. Madame Coquenard has then thtpas of Harpagan. 

In short, the rest of the equipment was successively debated in the 
same manner; and the result of the sitting was, that Madame Coquenard 
should give eight hundred livres in money, and should furnish the horse 
and the mule, which should have the honour to carry Porthos and 
Mousqueton to glory. 

These conditions being agreed to, Porthos took leave of Madame 
Coquenard. The latter wished to detain him by darting certain tender 
glances ; but Porthos urged the commands of duty, and the procureuse 
was obliged to give place to the king. 

The musketeer returned home as hungry as a hunter. 



In the meantime, in spite of the cries of his conscience and the wise 
counsels of Athos, D'Artagnan became hourly more in love with milady ; 
thus he never failed to pay his diurnal court to her, and the self-satisfied 
Gascon was convinced that, sooner or later, she could not fail to respond 
to him. 

One day when he arrived, with his head in the air, and as light at 
heart as a man who is in expectation of a shower of gold, he found the 
soubrette under the gateway of the hotel ; but this time the pretty 
Kitty was not contented with touching him as he passed ; she took him 
gently by the hand. 

" Good !" thought D'Artagnan, " she is charged with some message 
for me from her mistress ; she is about to appoint some meeting which 
she had not courage to speak of." And he looked down at the pretty 
girl with the most triumphant air imaginable. 

" I wish to say three words to you, Monsieur le Chevalier," stammered 
the soubrette. 


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" Speak, my dear, speak," said D'Artagnan ; "lam all attention." 

" Here ? That's impossible ; that which I have to say is too long, 
and, still more, too secret." 

"Well, what is to be done?" 

"If Monsieur le Chevalier would follow me ?* said Kitty, timidly. 

" Where you please, my pretty little dear." 

" Come, then." 

And Kitty, who had not let go the hand of D'Artagnan, led him up a 
little dark, winding staircase, and, after ascending about fifteen steps, 
opened a door. 

" Come in here, Monsieur le Chevalier," said she ; " here we shall be 
alone, and can talk safely." 

" And whose chamber is this, my pretty-faced friend r* 

" It is mine, Monsieur le Chevalier ; it communicates with my mis- 
tress's by that door. But you need not fear ; she will not hear what we 
say ; she never goes to bed before midnight." 

D'Artagnan cast a glance around him. The little apartment was 
charming for its taste and neatness ; but, in spite of himself, his eyes 
were directed to that door which Kitty said led to milad/s chamber. 

Kitty guessed what was passing in the mind of the young man, and 
heaved a deep sigh. 

" You love my mistress, then, very dearly, Monsieur le Chevalier ?* 
said she. 

" Oh, more than I can say, Kitty ! I am mad for her !" 

Kitty breathed a second sigh. 

" Alas ! monsieur," said she, " that is a great pity !" 

" What the devil do you see so pitiable in it ?" said D'Artagnan. 

" Because, monsieur," replied Kitty, " my mistress does not love you 
at all." 

" Hein !" said D'Artagnan, " can she have charged her to tell me so r* 

" Oh, no, monsieur ; out of the regard I have for you, I have taken 
upon myself to tell you so." 

" I am much obliged, my dear Kitty, but for the intention only ; for 
the information, you must agree, is not likely to be very pleasant" 

" That is to say, you don't believe what I have told you, is it not V 

" We have always some difficulty in believing such things, my pretty 
dear, were it only from self-love." 

" Then you don't believe me V 

" Why, I confess that, unless you give me some proof of what you 

" What do you think of this r" 

And Kitty drew a little note from her bosom. 

" For me ?" said D'Artagnan, seizing the letter. 

"No; for another." 

" For another ?" 


" His name ! his name !" cried D'Artagnan, 

44 Read the address." i 


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u Monsieur le Comte de Wardes." 

The remembrance of the scene at St. Germain presented itself to the 
mind of the presumptuous Gascon ; as quick as thought he tore open 
the letter, in spite of the cry which Kitty uttered on seeing what he was 
going to do, or, rather, what he was doing. 

" Oh, good Lord ! Monsieur le Chevalier," said she, " what are you 
doing ?' 

" Who— I ?" said D'Artagnan ; "nothing ;" and he read : 

" You have not answered my first note ; are you indisposed, or have 
you forgot the glances you favoured me with at the ball of Madame de 
Guise ? You have an opportunity now, count ; do not allow it to escape." 

D'Artagnan became very pale : he was wounded in his self-love ; he 
thought that it was in his love. 

" Poor, dear Monsieur D'Artagnan !" said Kitty, in a voice full of 
compassion, and pressing the young man's hand again. 

" You pity me, my kind little creature ?" said D'Artagnan. 

" That I do, and with all my heart ; for I know what it is to be in 

" You know what it is to be in love V said D'Artagnan, looking at her 
for the first time with much attention. 

" Alas ! yes." 

" Well, then, instead of pitying me, you would do much better to 
assist me in revenging myself of your mistress." 

" And what sort of revenge would you take ?" 

u I would triumph over her, and supplant my rival." 

" 1 will never help you in that, Monsieur le Chevalier," said Kitty, 

"Why not?" 

" For two reasons." 

" What are they ?" 

" The first is, that my mistress will never love you." 

" How do you know that ?" 

M You have offended her to the very heart. 

" I ?— in what can 1 have offended her? I, who, ever since I have 
known her, have lived at her feet like a slave ! Speak, I beg of you !" 

" I will never confess that but to the man who should read to 

the bottom of my soul !" 

D'Artagnan looked at Kitty for the second time. The young girl 
was of a freshness and beauty which many duchesses would have pur- 
chased with their coronets. 

" Kitty," said he, " I will read to the bottom of your soul whenever 
you like ; don't let that disturb you ;" and he gave her a kiss, at which 
the poor girl became as red as a cherry. 

" Oh, no," said Kitty, " it is not me you love— it is my mistress you 
love ; you told me so only just now." 

" /Ind 4oes that hinder you from telling me the second reason ?" 


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" The second reason, Monsieur le Chevalier," replied Kitty, embold- 
ened by the kiss in the first place, and still further by the expression of 
the eyes of the young man, " is— that in love, every one for herself P 

Then only D'Artagnan remembered the languishing glances of Kitty, 
her constantly meeting him in the antechamber, the corridor, or on the 
stairs, those touches of the hand every time she did meet him, and her 
deep sighs ; but, absorbed by his desire to please the great lady, he had 
disdained the soubrette : he whose game is the eagle, takes no heed of 
the sparrow. 

But this time our. Gascon saw at a glance all the advantage that 
might be derived from the love which Kitty had just confessed so inno- 
cently — or so boldly : the interception of letters addressed to the Count 
de Wardes, intelligences on the spot, entrance at all hours into Kitty's 
chamber, which was contiguous to her mistress's. The perfidious de- 
ceiver was, as may plainly be perceived, already sacrificing in idea the 
poor girl to obtain milady, whether she would or not 

" Well," said he to the young girl, M are you willing, my dear Kitty, 
that I should give you a proof of that love of which you doubt ?" 

" What love T asked the girl. 

" Of that which I am ready to feel for you." 

" And what is that proof?" 

" Are you willing that I should this evening pass with you the time I 
generally spend with your mistress ?" 

" Oh, yes !" said Kitty, clapping her hands, " very willing." 

" Well, then, come here, my dear,"said D'Artagnan, establishing him- 
self in a.fauteui/ 9 " come, and let me tell you that you are the prettiest 
soubrette I ever saw 1" 

And he did tell her so much, and so well, that the poor girl, who 
asked nothing better than to believe him, did believe him. Neverthe- 
less, to D'Artagnan's great astonishment, the pretty Kitty defended 
herself with resolution. 

In such conversations time passes very rapidly. Twelve o'clock 
struck, and almost at the same time the bell was rung in milady's 

" Good God P cried Kitty, " there is my mistress calling me ! Go, 
go directly P 

D'Artagnan rose, took his hat as if it had been his intention to obey ; 
then, opening quickly the door of a large closet, instead of that of the 
staircase, he plunged into the midst of robes and lady's dressing-gowns. 

" What are you doing ?" cried Kitty. 

D'Artagnan, who had secured the key, shut himself up in the closet 
without any reply. 

" Well," cried milady, in a sharp voice, " are you asleep, that you 
don't answer when I ring V 

And D'Artagnan heard the door of communication opened violently. 

" Here am I, milady ! here am I !" cried Kitty, springing forward to 
meet her mistress. 

Both went into the bedroom, and, as the door of communication 


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remained open, D'Artagnan could hear milady for some time scolding 
her maid She was at length, however, appeased, and the conversation 
turned upon him whilst Kitty was assisting her mistress to undress. 

" Well,* said milady, " I have not seen our Gascon this evening." 

" What, milady ! has he not been ?" said Kitty. " Can he be incon- 
stant before being happy ?" • 

" Oh, no ; he must have been prevented by M. de Tre'ville or M. des 
Essarts. I understand my game, Kitty ; I have him safe !" 

" What will you do with him, madame ?" 

u What will I do with him ? Oh, Kitty, there is something between 
that man and me that he is quite ignorant of : he was very near making 
me lose my credit with his eminence. Oh, I will be revenged for that !" 

" I thought madame loved him ?" 

" I love him ? I detest him ! A simple fool, who held the life of Lord 
de Winter in his hands and did not kill him, by which I missed three 
hundred thousand livres a year !* 

" That's true," said Kitty ; "your son was the only heir of his uncle, 
and until his coming of age you would have had the enjoyment of his 

D'Artagnan shuddered to his very marrow at hearing this apparently 
sweet creature reproach him with that sharp voice, which she took such 
pains to conceal in conversation, for not having killed a man whom he 
had seen load her with kindnesses. 

" For all this," continued milady, " I should long ago have revenged 
myself on him, if, and I don't know why, the cardinal had not requested 
me to conciliate him." 

" Oh, yes ; but madame has not favoured the little woman he was so 
fond of?" 

" What ! the mercer's wife of the Rue des Fossoyeurs ? Has he not 
already forgotten she ever existed ? Fine vengeance that, tnafoi /" 

A cold sweat broke from D'Artagnan's brow. Why, this woman was 
a monster ! He resumed his listening, but unfortunately the toilet was 

4< That will do," said milady ; " go into your own room, and to-morrow 
endeavour again to obtain me an answer to the letter I gave you." 

" For M. de Wardes ?" said Kitty. 

" To be sure ; for M. de Wardes." 

" Now, there is one," said Kitty, " who appears to me to be quite a 
different sort of man to that poor M. d'Artagnan ." 

" Go to bed, mademoiselle," said milady ; " I don't like comments." 

D'Artagnan heard the door close, then the noise of two bolts by which 
milady fastened herself in ; on her side, but as softly as possible, Kitty 
turned the key of the lock, and then D'Artagnan opened the closet- 

" Oh good Lord !" said Kitty, in a low voice, " what is the matter 
with you ? How pale you are !" 

" The abominable creature !" murmured D'Artagnan. 

" Silence, silence ! begone !" said Kitty ; "there is nothing but a 


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wainscot between my chamber and milady's ; every word that is uttered 
in one can be heard in the other/'' 

" That's exactly the reason I won't go," said D'Artagnan. 

u What !" said Kitty, blushing. 

" Or, at least, I will go — later ;" and he put his arm round her waist 

D'Artagnan's love for Kitty was little more than an idea of vengeance 
upon milady. With a little more heart, he might have been contented 
with this new conquest ; but the principal features of his character 
were ambition and pride. It must, however, be confessed, in his justi- 
fication, that the first use he made of the influence he had obtained 
over Kitty was, to endeavour to find out what had become of Madame 
Bonacieux ; but the poor girl swore upon the crucifix to D'Artagnan, 
that she was entirely ignorant on that head, her mistress never admit- 
ting her into half her secrets, only she believed she was able to say 
she was not dead. 

As to the cause which was near making milady lose the confidence 
of the cardinal, Kitty knew nothing about it ; but this time D'Artagnan 
was better informed than she was : as he had seen milady on board a 
vessel at the moment he was leaving England, he suspected that it was, 
almost without a doubt, on account of the diamond studs. 

But what was clearest in all this was, that the true hatred, the pro- 
found hatred, the inveterate hatred of milady, was increased by his not 
having killed her brother-in-law. 

D'Artagnan came the next day to milady's, and finding her in a very 
ill-humour, had no doubt that it was having no answer from M. de 
Wardes that provoked her thus. Kitty came in, but milady was very 
cross with her. The poor girl ventured a glance at D'Artagnan, which 
said — See how I suffer on your account ! 

Towards the end of the evening, however, the beautiful lioness be- 
came milder, she smilingly listened to the soft speeches of D'Artagnan, 
and even gave him her hand to kiss. 

D'Artagnan, at parting, scarcely knew what to think ; but as he was 
a youth not easily imposed upon, whilst continuing to pay his court to 
milady, he determined to carry out the little plan he had framed in his 

He found Kitty at the gate, and, as on the preceding evening, went 
up to her chamber. Kitty had been accused of negligence, and con- 
sequently severely scolded. Milady could not at all comprehend the 
silence of the Count de Wardes, and she ordered Kitty to come at nine 
o'clock in the morning to take a third letter. 

D'Artagnan made Kitty promise to bring him that letter on the fol- 
lowing morning ; the poor girl promised all her lover desired : she was 

Things passed as they had done the night before : D'Artagnan con- 
cealed himself in his closet, milady called, undressed, sent away Kitty, 
and shut the door. As before, likewise, D'Artagnan returned home at 
five o'clock in the morning. 

At eleven o'clock Kitty came to him : she held in her hand a fresh 


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billet from milady. This time the poor girl did not even hesitate at 
giving up the note to D'Artagnan ; she belonged, body and soul, to her 
handsome soldier. 
D'Artagnan opened the letter, and read as follows : 

" This is the third time I have written to you, to tell you that I love 
you. Peware that I do not write to you a fourth time, to tell you that 
I detest you. 

u If you repent of the manner in which you have acted towards mc, 
the young girl who brings you this will tell you how a man of spirit 
may obtain his pardon." 

D'Artagnan coloured and grew pale several times whilst reading thb 

" Oh ! you love her still," said Kitty, who had not taken her eyes off 
the young man's countenance for an instant. 

" No, Kitty, you are mistaken : I do not love her ; but I will revenge 
myself for her contempt of me." 

" Oh ! yes, I know what sort of vengeance! you told me that !" 

" Of what consequence can it be to you, Kitty ; you know it is you 
alone I love." 

" How can I be sure of that ?" 

" By the scorn I will throw upon her." 

D'Artagnan took a pen and wrote : 

u Madame — Until the present moment, I could not believe that it 
was to me your two first letters were addressed, so unworthy did I feci 
myself of such an honour ; besides, I was so seriously indisposed, that 
I could not, in any case, have replied to them. 

" But now I am forced to believe in the excess of your kindness, 
since not only your letter, but your servant, assures me that I have the 
good fortune to be beloved by you. 

" She has no occasion to teach me the way in which a man of spirit 
may obtain his pardon ; I will come and ask mine at eleven o'clock 
this evening. 

" To delay it a single day would be, in my eyes, now, to commit a 
fresh offence He whom you have rendered the happiest of men, 


This note was in the first place a forgery ; it was likewise an indeli- 
cacy ; it was even, according to our present manners, something like 
an infamous action ; but at that period, people were not so scrupulous. 
Besides, D'Artagnan from her own admission, knew milady to be 
treacherous in matters of more importance, and could entertain no re- 
spect for her. And yet, notwithstanding this want of respect, he felt an 
uncontrollable passion for this woman boiling in his veins. Passion 
drunk with contempt ; but passion or thirst, as the reader pleases. 

D'Artagnan's plan was very simple ; by Kitty's chamber he gained 


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that of his mistress ; he would take advantage of the first moment of 
surprise, shame and terror ; he might fail, but something must be left 
to chance. In eight days the campaign was to open, and he would be 
compelled to leave Paris : D* Artagnan had no time for a prolonged love 

"There/ 1 said the young man, handing Kitty the letter, sealed and 
addressed, " give that to milady ; it is the Count de Wardes* reply." 

Poor Kitty became as pale as death ; she suspected what the letter 

" Listen my deargirl," said D'Artagnan, " you cannot but perceive that 
all this must end, some way or other ; milady may discover that you 
gave the first billet to my lackey instead of to De Wardes* ; that it is I 
who have opened the others which ought to have been opened by him ; 
milady will then turn you out of doors, and you know she is not the 
woman to let her vengeance stop there." 

*• Alas !" said Kitty, " for whom have I exposed myself to all that ?" 

" For me* I well know, my sweet girl," said D'Artagnan. " But I am 

44 But what does this note contain ?" 

44 Milady will tell you." 

41 Ah ! you do not love me," cried Kitty, " and I am very wretched !" 

In spite of the caresses with which D'Artagnan endeavoured to con- 
sole her, Kitty wept for some time before she could be persuaded to 
give her mistress the note ; but she yielded at last 



Since the four friends had been in search of their equipments, there 
had been no fixed meeting. They dined without each other, wherever 
they might happen to be, or rather, where they could find a dinner. 
Duty, likewise, on its part, took up a considerable portion of that 
precious time which was gliding away so rapidly. Only they had agreed 
to meet once a week, about one o'clock, at the residence of Athos, seeing 
that he, in agreement with the vow he had formed, did not pass over 
the threshold of his door. 

This was the same day as that on which Kitty went to D'Artagnan. 

Soon as Kitty left him, D'Artagnan directed his steps towards the 
Rue Fe*rou. 

He found Athos and Aramis philosophising. Aramis had some slight 
inclination to resume the cassock. Athos, according to his system, 
neither encouraged nor dissuaded him. Athos was an advocate that 
every one should be left to his own free will He never gave advice 
but when it was asked ; and even then he required to be asked twice. 

u People in general," he said, " only asked advice not to follow it ; or 
if they did follow it, it was for the sake of having some one to blame 
for having given it" 


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Porthos arrived a minute after D'Artagnan, and the four friends were 
all assembled. 

The four countenances expressed four different feelings : that of 
Porthos, tranquillity ; that of D'Artagnan, hope ; that of Aramis, un- 
easiness ; that of Athos, carelessness. 

At the end of a moment's conversation, in which Porthos hinted that 
a lady of elevated rank had condescended to relieve him from his em- 
barrassment, Mousqueton entered.— He came to request his master to 
come home instantly ; his presence was very urgent. 

" Is it my equipment ?" 

"Yes, and no," replied Mousqueton. 

" Well, but can't you speak ?" 

" Come home, monsieur !" 

Porthos rose, saluted his friends, and followed Mousqueton. 

An instant after, Bazin made his appearance at the door. 

" What do you want with me, my friend ?" said Aramis, with that 
mildness of language which was observable in him every time that his 
ideas were directed towards the church. 

" A man wishes to see monsieur at home,* replied Bazin. 

" A man I what man ?" 

" A mendicant." 

" Give him alms, Bazin, and bid him pray for a poor sinner." 

u But this mendicant insists upon speaking to you, and pretends that 
you will be very glad to see him." 

" Has he sent no particular message for me?" 

u Yes, if M. Aramis hesitates to come," he said, " tell him I am from 

" From Tours !" cried Aramis, " a thousand pardons, gentlemen, but 
no doubt this man brings me the news I expected. ' 

And rising, he went off at a quick pace. 

There then only remained Athos and D'Artagnan. 

" I believe these fellows have managed their business. What do you 
think, D'Artagnan F « *id Athos. 

" I know that Porthos was in a fair way," replied D'Artagnan ; "and 
as to Aramis, to tell you the truth, I have never been uneasy on his 
account ; but you, my dear Athos, you, who so generously distributed 
the Englishman's pistoles, which were your legitimate property, what 
do you mean to do ?" 

" 1 am satisfied with having killed that man, my good lad, seeing that 
it is blessed bread to kill an Englishman ; but if I had pocketed his 
pistoles, they would have weighed me down like a remorse." 

" Athos ! Athos ! you have truly inconceivable ideas !" 

"Well, leave that!— What do you think of M. de Tre*ville's telling 
me, when he did me the honour to call upon me yesterday, that you 
associated with the suspected English, whom the cardinal protects ?" 

" That is to say, I visit an Englishwoman ; the one I named to you." 

" Oh ! aye ! the fair woman, on whose account I gave you advice, 
which, naturally, you took care not to adopt." 


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" I gave you my reasons." 

" Yes : you look to the connection for your equipment, I think you 

" Not at all ! I have acquired a certain knowledge that that woman 
was concerned in the carrying off of Madame Bonacieux." 

u Yes, I understand now ; to find one woman you make love to another : 
it is the longest road, but certainly the most amusing. n 

D'Artagnan was on the point of telling Athos all ; but one considera- 
tion restrained him . Athos was a gentleman, and was punctilious in all 
that concerned honour, and there were in all the plans which our lover 
had devised with regard to milady, he was sure, certain things that 
would not obtain his approbation ; he was therefore silent, and as Athos 
was the least curious of any man on earth, D'Artagnan's confidence 
stopped there. 

We will therefore leave the two friends, who had nothing important 
to communicate to each other, to follow Aramis. 

Upon being informed that the person who wanted to speak to him 
came from Tours, we have seen with what rapidity the young man fol- 
lowed, or rather went before Bazin ; he ran without stopping from the 
Rue Ferou to Rue de Vaugirard. 

On entering, he found a man of short stature and intelligent eyes, 
but covered with rags. 

" Did you ask for me ?" said the musketeer. 

" 1 wish to speak with Monsieur Aramis : is that your name, 
monsieur ?° 

" Yes : you have brought me something ?" 

" Yes, if you can show me a certain embroidered handkerchief V 1 

" Here it is," said Aramis, taking a small key from his breast ? and 
opening a little ebony box inlaid with mother-of-pearl : " here it is, 
look !" 

u That is right," replied the mendicant ; c< dismiss your lackey." 

In fact, Bazin, curious to know what the mendicant could want with 
his master, kept pace with him as well as he could, and arrived almost 
at the same time he did ; but this quickness was not of much use to 
him ; at the hint from the mendicant, his master made him a sign to 
retire, and he was obliged to obey. 

Bazin being gone, the mendicant cast a rapid glance around him, in 
order to be sure that nobody could either see or hear him, and opening 
his ragged vest, badly held together by a leather strap, he began to un- 
sew the upper part of his doublet, from which he drew a letter. 

Aramis uttered a cry of joy at the sight of the seal, kissed the super- 
scription with an almost religious respect, and opened the epistle, which 
contained what follows : 

u My Friend,— It is the will of fate that we should be still for some 
time separated ; but the delightful days of youth are not lost beyond 
return. Perform your duty in camp ; I will do mine elsewhere. Accept 
that which the bearer brings you : make the campaign like a handsome 


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true gentleman, and think of me, who tenderly kiss your dear black 
eyes ! 
" Adieu ! or rather, au revoir P 

The mendicant continued to unsew his garments ; and drew from 
amidst his rags a hundred and fifty Spanish double pistoles, which he 
laid down on the table ; then he opened the door, bowed, and went out 
before the young man, stupefied by his letter, had ventured to address 
a word to him. 

Aramis then re-perused the letter, and perceived there was a post- 

"P.S. You may behave politely to the bearer, who is a count and 
a grandee of Spain." 

" Golden dreams !" cried Aramis. " Oh, beautiful life ! yes, we are 
young, yes, we shall yet have happy days ! Oh ! my love, my blood, 
my life ! all, all, all, all are thine, my adored mistress !" 

And he kissed the letter with passion, without even vouchsafing a look 
at the gold which sparkled on the table. 

Bazin scratched at the door, and as Aramis had no longer any reason 
to exclude him, he bade him come in. 

• Bazin was stupefied at the sight of the gold, and forgot that he came 
to announce D'Artagnan, who, curious to know who the mendicant could 
be, came to Aramis's residence on leaving that of Athos. 

Now, as D'Artagnan used no ceremony with Aramis, seeing that 
Bazin forgot to announce him, he announced himself. 

" The devil ! my dear Aramis," said D'Artagnan, " if these are the 
prunes that are sent to you from Tours, I beg you will make my com- 
pliments to the gardener who gathers them." 

" You are mistaken, friend D'Artagnan," said Aramis, always on his 
guard, " this is from my bookseller, who has just sent me the price of 
that poem in one-syllable verse which I began yonder." 

M Ah ! indeed," said D'Artagnan, " well, your bookseller is very gene- 
rous, that's all I can say." 

" How, monsieur?" cried Bazin, " a poem sell so dear as that ! it is 
incredible 1 You can write as much as you like, you may become equal 
to M. Voiture and M. Benserade. I like that. A poet is as good as an 
abbe*. Ah, Monsieur Aramis ! become a poet, I beg of you. 

" Bazin, my friend," said Aramis, " I believe you are interfering with 
my conversation." 

Bazin perceived he was wrong ; he bowed and went out. 

" Ah !" said D'Artagnan with a smile, " you sell your productions at 
their weight in gold ; you are very fortupate, my friend, but take care, 
or else you will lose that letter which is peeping out from your doublet, 
and which comes, no doubt, from your bookseller likewise." 

Aramis blushed to the eyes, crammed in the letter, and rebuttoned 
his doublet. 



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"My dear D'Artagnan," said he, "if you please, we will join our friends ; 
as I am rich, we will to-day begin to dine together again, expecting that 
you will be rich in your turn." 

" Ma foi !" said D'Artagnan, with great pleasure. " It is long since 
we have had a good dinner together ; and I, for my part, have a some- 
what hazardous expedition for this evening, and shall not be sorry, I 
confess, to fortify myself with a few glasses of good old Burgundy ." 

" Agreed, as to the old Burgundy ; I have no objection to that," said 
Aramis, from whom the letter and the gold had removed, as by magic, 
his ideas of retreat 

And having put two or three double pistoles into his pocket to answer 
the calls of the moment, he placed the others in the ebony box, inlaid 
with mother-of-pearl, in which was the famous handkerchief, which 
served him as a talisman. 

The two friends repaired to Athos's dwelling ; and he, faithful to his 
vow of not going out, took upon him to order dinner to be brought to 
them ; as he was perfectly acquainted with the details of gastronomy, 
D'Artagnan and Aramis made no difficulty in abandoning this impor- 
tant care to him. 

They went to find Porthos, and at the corner of the Rue Bac met 
Mousqueton, who, with a most pitiable air, was driving before him a 
mule and a horse. 

D'Artagnan uttered a cry of surprise, which was not quite free from 

" There's my yellow horse, Aramis,* cried he ; " look at that horse !* 

u Oh, the frightful brute I" said Aramis. 

"Well," replied D'Artagnan, " upon that very horse I came to Paris." 

" What, does monsieur know this horse ?" said Mousqueton. 

" It is of a singular colour," said Aramis ; " I never saw one with such 
a hide in my life." 

" I can well believe you did not," replied D'Artagnan, " and that was 
how I got three crowns for him ; it must have been for his hide, for, 
certes, the carcase is not worth eighteen livres. But how did this horse 
come into your hands, Mousqueton ?" 

" Pray," said the lackey, " say nothing about it, monsieur ; it is a 
frightful trick played us by the husband of our duchess !" 

" How has it come about, Mousqueton r* 

" Why, we are looked upon with a rather favourable eye, by a lady of 

quality, the Duchess of ; but, your pardon ; my master has 

commanded me to be discreet ; she had forced us to accept, as a little 
keepsake, a magnificent Spanish genet and an Andalusian mule, which 
were beautiful to look upom ; the husband heard of the affair ; on their 
way he seized the two magnificent beasts which were being sent to us, 
and substituted these horrible animals in their places." 

" Which you are taking back to him, I suppose ?" said D'Artagnan. 

" Exactly so, monsieur !" replied Mousqueton ; " you may well believe 
that we will not accept such steeds as these in exchange for those which 
had been promised to us." 


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" No, pardieu ! though I should like to have seen Porthos upon my 
yellow horse ; that would give me an idea of how I looked on my 
arrival in Paris. But don't let us hinder you, Mousqueton ; go, and 
perform your master's orders. Is he at home ?" 

" Yes, monsieur/' said Mousqueton, " but in a very ill humour. Go 
on !" and he continued his way towards the Quai des Grands Augus- 
tins, whilst the two friends went to ring at the bell of the unfortunate 
Porthos. He, having seen them crossing the yard, took care not to 
answer ; and they rang in vain. 

In the meanwhile Mousqueton continued on his way, and crossing 
the Pont Neuf, still driving the two sorry animals before him, he 
reached the Rue aux Ours. When arrived there, he fastened, accord- 
ing to the orders of his master, both the horse and mule to the knocker 
of the procureur's door ; then, without taking any heed of their future 
fate, he returned to Porthos, and told him that his commission was 

In a short time the two unfortunate beasts, who had not eaten any- 
thing since the morning, made such a noise with the knocker, that 
the procureur ordered his boy-clerk to go and inquire in the neighbour- 
hood to whom this horse and mule belonged. 

Madame Coquenard recognised her present, and could not at first 
comprehend this restitution ; but the visit of Porthos soon enlightened 
her. The anger which fired the eyes of the musketeer, in spite of his 
efforts to suppress it, terrified his sensitive lover. In fact, Mousqueton 
had not concealed from his master that he had met D'Artagnan and 
Aramis, and that D'Artagnan, in the yellow horse, had recognised the 
Beamais pony upon which he had come to Paris, and which he had 
sold for three crowns. 

Porthos went away after having appointed a meeting with the pro- 
cureuse in the cloisters of St. Magloire. The procureur, seeing he was 
going, invited him to dinner ; an invitation which the musketeer refused 
with an air of majesty. 

Madame Coquenard repaired trembling to the cloisters of St. Ma- 
gloire, for she guessed the reproaches that awaited her there ; but she 
was fascinated by the lofty airs of Porthos. 

All that which a man, wounded in his self love, could let fall in the 
shape of imprecations and reproaches upon the head of a woman, Por- 
thos let fall upon the bowed head of his procureuse. 

" Alas !" said she, " I did all for the best. One of our clients is a 
horsedealer ; he owes money to the office, and was backward in his pay. 
I took the mule and the horse for what he owed us ; he assured me that 
they were two noble steeds." 

"Well, madame," said Porthos, "if he owed you more than five 
crowns, your horsedealer is a thief." 

" There is no harm in endeavouring to buy things cheap, Monsieur 
Porthos," said the procureuse, seeking to excuse herself. 

" No, madame,but they who so earnestly try to buy things cheap, ought 
to permit others to seek more generous friends." 



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And Porthos, turning on his heel, made a step to retire. 

" Monsieur Porthos ! Monsieur Porthos !" cried the procureuse, " I 
have been wrong, I confess it, I ought not to have driven a bargain 
when the matter was to equip a cavalier like you." 

Porthos, without reply, retreated a second step. 

The procureuse fancied she sawhim in a brilliant cloud, all surrounded 
by ducnesses and marquises, who cast bags of money at his feet 

" Stop ! in the name of heaven ! Monsieur Porthos," cried she ; 
"stop, and let us talk." 

" Talking with you brings me misfortune," said Porthos. 

"But, teU me, what do you ask r" 

" Nothing, for that amounts to the same thing as if I asked you for 

The procureuse hung herself upon the arm of Porthos, and, in the 
violence of her grief, she cried out : 

** Monsieur Porthos, I am ignorant of all such matters. How should 
I know what a horse is ? How should I know what horse-furniture is ?" 

" You should have left it to me, then, madame, who do know what 
they are : but you would be parsimonious, and, consequently, lend at 

" I have done wrong, Monsieur Porthos, but I will repair that wrong, 
upon my word of honour I will." 

" And how will you do that r" asked the musketeer. 

" Listen to me. This evening M. Coquenard is going to the house of 
M. Le Due de Chaulnes, who has sent tor him. It is upon a consulta- 
tion, which will last three hours at least ; come, we shall be alone, and 
can make up our accounts." 

" Ah ! now that is speaking to the purpose, my dear !" 

*' You pardon me, then ?" 

u We shall see," said Porthos, majestically. 

And they separated, both saying : " Till this evening." 

" The devil !" thought Porthos, as he walked away, " it appears I am 
getting nearer to Monsieur Coquenard's strong box at last" 



On the morning following the evening so fondly anticipated by both 
Porthos and D'Artagnan, Athos sat chewing the cud of recollections, in 
which the bitter somewhat predominated over the sweet, when his medi- 
tations were pleasingly interrupted by the appearance of D'Artagnan, 
We say pleasingly, for two reasons : first, that Athos took particular 
pleasure in the society of the frank, shrewd Gascon ; and, secondly, 
that though the circumstances of his early life had cast a tinge of melan- 
choly over his tone of mind, and altered his habits of existence, there 
was still a spirit of comparative youth and natural buoyancy of temper- 


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arnent, which made him hail, as a relief, the society of a man he esteemed 
$0 greatly as he did D'Artagnan. 

As to the Gascon, he was in exuberant spirits, but spirits which, to 
the cool, observant eye of Athos, seemed rattier feverish than natural ; 
his eye sparkled, his tongue was voluble, his laugh was loud, but there 
was occasionally a nervous twitching of the muscles of the mouth, and, 
altogether, an uneasiness which denoted that his spirits resembled rather 
the excitement produced by opium or wine, than the overflowing cheer- 
fulness of youth and peace of mind. 

" This seems to have been an auspicious night with you, D'Artagnan," 
said Athos. " Did you visit your fascinating Englishwoman ?" 

" Oh, yes," replied D'Artagnan, rubbing his hands ; " and my revenge 
is complete." 

" Ah ?" said Athos, gravely. " Beware ! revenge is an awkward pas- 
sion to indulge in ; they who employ it find it a double-edged weapon, 
which, in the recoil, frequently wounds the hand that wields it." 

" Mordioux ! I must confess that I am not quite at ease. Milady 
has a deal more of a Circe than a Venus in her, however beautiful I 
think her. Her very love and its expression have something mysterious 
in them." 

" Well, we know she was a spy of the Cardinal's," said Athos. " The 
Cardinal does not usually employ lovable people ; few of us would like 
to take either Le Pere Joseph or his dme damn/e, Rochefort, to our 
bosoms as confidential friends ; and a woman must be still more to be 
dreaded. With men, we can be on our guard ; against women, never." 

" Peste !" said D'Artagnan ; " that is it. I almost trembled while I 
loved. She has the strangest expression in her eyes I ever met with. 
Though merely grey eyes, their brilliancy is astonishing ; but that bril- 
liancy is more of the nature of the flash of a meteor, than of the moon- 
like lustre we love in women's eyes. But I will tell you all, and then 
you may judge for yourself." And with his usual readiness and fluency, 
the Gascon related to his attentive friend the adventures of the evening. 

In the first place he recapitulated all that our readers know concern- 
ing the lady's warm letters to De Wardes, and D'Artagnan's forged 

At this period Athos's brow became clouded. In general, the eye cf 
Athos seemed to turn towards D'Artagnan as the weary look of the town 
drudge seeks a break between the line of houses where he can catch a 
glimpse of green fields and golden sunshine ; but now, it was serious to 

"My dear friend, this is not like you. You are, naturally, no assassin ; 
though anxious to win the fight, you would never forget that honour 
should be dearer to a combatant than victory. But look at the conse- 
quence of this victory ; for the sake of a momentary gratification, you 
secure yourself an enemy, and no mean one, depend upon it." 

" Oh," said D'Artagnan, " I have felt all that— but— but, Athos, you 
know what it is to be under the influence of a beautiful, artful woman." 

The brow of Athos again darkened. 


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" But proceed," added he, gravely. 

" Well, at my usual time, about nine o'clock, I presented myself, and 
was almost flattered into hope by my reception. I had never seen her 
look handsomer ; her spirits were good, her laugh was cheerful, and 
there was none of that constrained, affected air of politeness of which I 
had before seen so much. But then the devil of jealousy did not fail to 
whisper to me that all this arose from the anticipation of gratified love, 
and was not in any way due to me or my presence. But passion is a 
bad reasoner ; and I said to myself, ' Well, she may love De Wardes, 
but if she will take all this pains to make herself agreeable to me, I must 
go for something, and she may not take the deception very UL' Besides, 
he was hard to be courted ; I was a willing slave." 

" There, your usually acute philosophy was at fault, D'Artagnan. As 
a soldier, you ought to know there is more honour from a contested 
victory, than from a too easy surrender. But go on." 

" Well, I perceived my billet had done its work. Kitty was ordered 
to bring in sherbet. Her mistress's good-humour extended even to her ; 
she spoke more kindly to her than usual, but I could see poor Kitty was 
insensible to it all — her heart seemed full of the idea of my purposed 
revenge. As I witnessed the play of natural feeling in the countenance 
of one of these women, and beheld the artful blandishments of that 
of the other, I was not only tempted to think that fortune had made a 
mistake in their relative positions, but even felt my heart waver, and 
turn, instinctively, from art to nature. But I was committed, and had 
no means of honourable retreat before victory. 

" At ten o'clock milady began to be uneasy. I could plainly see what 
was the matter. She arose, walked about, sat down again, her eyes 
seeming constantly to reproach the sluggish progress of the pendulum. 
At length, as the time drew near, there was no mistaking her ; her looks 
said, distinctly as words, You have been very agreeable, but it is quite 
time you were gone. I arose, took my hat, bowed upon her hand, even 
ventured to kiss it, all which she not only allowed, but I was astonished 
to find her beautiful fingers return the respectful pressure of mine. And 
yet, though the fascination still continued, I was not for a moment de- 
ceived ; there was no partiality for me, not even coquetry in it. 

" * She must love him devilishly,' thought I, as I descended the stairs. 

" But my poor little Kitty could not find it in her heart to come down 
to meet me ; I was obliged to grope my way up the back staircase alone. 

" On reaching the soubrette's little apartment, I found her seated with 
her head leaning on her hands, weeping bitterly. She did not notice 
my entrance, but when I went, in a kindly manner, to take her hand, 
she broke into an agony of sobbing. I soon found, from her reproaches, 
that milady, in the delirium of her joy, had revealed to her the contents 
of the supposed De Wardes's billet, and, as a reward for the manner in 
which she had performed her commission, had given her a purse of money. 

" Kitty, on regaining her chamber, had thrown this purse contemp- 
tuously into a corner, where it lay, disgorging three or four pieces of gold 
upon the carpet. 


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" My heart smote me more than I like to own, but my plan lay too 
much at my heart ; the only honest thing I could do towards Kitty was 
to give her clearly to understand that I could not draw back, that I 
must go on ; only adding, as a sedative, that I was now actuated solely 
by revenge. 

" From some little remains of modesty, milady had ordered all the 
lights to be extinguished, even in her own chamber, and M. de Wardes 
was to depart before day, in darkness. 

" I had not been many minutes with Kitty before we heard milady 
enter her chamber, and I quickly ensconced myself in my closet ; indeed, 
Kitty had scarcely pushed me in, when her mistress's little bell rang. 
Kitty replied to the summons, taking care to shut the door after her ; 
but the wainscot was so thin I could hear almost all both the women 

" Milady appeared intoxicated with joy. She made Kitty repeat the 
minutest details of her pretended interview with De Wardes ; to which 
poor Kitty returned but broken answers, and I really expected, from her 
tone, she would begin to cry. And yet, so selfish is happiness, milady 
was too much engrossed by her own joy, to mark the distress of her poor 

"A few minutes before the appointed hour, milady had all the lights 
put out in her chamber, and dismissed Kitty to hers, with an injunction 
to introduce the count the moment he arrived. 

" You may suppose I did not keep Kitty waiting long. 

" Seeing through a chink of my hiding place that all was darkness, I 
was at the door of milady's chamber before Kitty had closed it. 

" * What is that noise V said milady. 

" ' It is I, De Wardes,' replied I ? in a suppressed voice. 

14 ' Well, why does he not come in r* saia milady. 

" Shaking off poor Kitty, with as much kindness as I could, I made 
my way into milady's chamber. And here, dear Athos, I must confess 
that I scarcely knew which predominated, love or jealousy. I had no 
idea what a man's feelings would be when he has passionate protesta- 
tions of love poured into his ears, and knows that they are addressed to 
a rival Oh, what a keen, remorseless tooth has jealousy ! Her love 
for De Wardes seems boundless." 

" Call it not love, D'Artagnan," said Athos, " it is a desecration of the 
word ; such natures as hers may be susceptible of coarse passion, but 
know nothing of love." 

" Well, call it what you will, she is intensely in earnest, as you may 
judge. At parting, she forced this ring upon my finger, with a request 
that I would return her a token of responding affection to-day ; and 
people don't give such jewels as this away lightly. My heart smote me, 
and I wished to refuse it She, however, would not hear of that, but 
replied, 4 No, no ; keep that ring for my sake ; you will render me like- 
wise a greater service than you are aware of by doing so,' — and her voice 
was agitated as she spoke. What the latter part of her speech meant, 
I don't know ; but she is full of mysteries. I remembered the ring ; it 


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is, as you see, a magnificent sapphire, surrounded by brilliants. At 
that moment I felt ready to reveal everything, but, very strangely, she 
added : 

u ' Poor dear angel ! whom the monster of a Gascon was so near 
" Comfortable, this ! to know I was the monster. 
u l Do you suffer much from your wounds T continued she. 
" ' Yes, a great deal/ said I, scarcely knowing what to answer. 
" ' Be satisfied/ murmured she ; ' I will avenge you, and cruelly.' 
u * Peste P thought I to myself ; ' the time for confidence has not yet 
come.' At our parting, which was a passionate one, another interview 
was agreed upon for next week." 

" Your milady is doubtless an infamous creature. But since you 
mentioned it, my attention has been engrossed by your ring," said 

" I saw you were looking at it ; it is handsome, is it not ?" said 

44 Yes," said Athos, "magnificent It reminds me of a family jewel ; I 
did not think two sapphires of such a fine water existed. And she 
gave you that ring, do you say." 

" Yes, my beautiful Englishwoman, or rather Frenchwoman, for I am 
sure she was born in France, took it from her own finger and forced it 
on to mine." 

" Let me look at it," said Athos ; and, as he took it and examined it, 
he became very pale. He tried it on his little finger, which it fitted as 
if made for it. 

A shade of anger and vengeance passed across his usually calm 

" It is impossible it can be she," said he. " How could this ring 
come into the possession of Lady Clarik ? And yet it is difficult 
suppose such a resemblance should exist between two jewels." 

" Do you know this ring ?" said D'Artagnan. 

" I thought I did," replied Athos ; " but, no doubt, was mistaken." 

And he returned D'Artagnan the ring, without, however, ceasing to 
look at it. 

" Pray," said Athos, after a minute, " either take off that ring, or turn 
the collet inside ; it recalls such recollections that I cannot keep my 
head cool enough to converse with you. But stop, let me look at that 
ring again ; the one I mentioned to you had one of its faces scratched." 

D'Artagnan took off the ring, giving it again to Athos. 

Athos started. " Look ?" said he, " is it not strange ?" and he 
pointed out to D'Artagnan the scratch he had remembered. 

" But from whom did this ring come to you, Athos ?" 

" From my mother, who inherited it from her mother." 

" And you — sold it ?' asked D'Artagnan, hesitatingly. 

" No," replied Athos, with a singular smile ; u I gave it away in a love 
affair, as it has been given to you." 

D'Artagnan became pensive in his turn ; it appeared as if there were 


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abysses in milady's soul whose depths were dark and unknown. He 
took back the ring, but put it into his pocket, and not on to his finger. 

" D'Artagnan," said Athos, taking his hand, "you know I love 
you ; if I had a son, I could not love him better. Take my advice, 
renounce this woman." 

" You are right," said D'Artagnan. " I have done with her ; she 
terrifies me." 

" Shall you have the courage?" said Athos. 

" I shall," replied D'Artagnan ; " and instantly." 

u In truth, my young friend, you will act rightly, and God grant 
that this woman, who has scarcely entered into your life, may not leave 
a terrible trace in it !" 

And Athos bowed to D'Artagnan, like a man who wishes to be 
left alone with his thoughts. 

On reaching home, D'Artagnan found Kitty waiting for him. 

She was sent by her mistress to the false De Wardes. Her mistress 
was mad with love ; she wished to know when her lover would meet her 
again. And poor Kitty, pale and trembling, awaited D'Artagnan's 
reply. The counsels of his friend, joined to the cries of his own heart, 
made him determine, now his pride was saved and his vengeance 
satisfied, not to see milady again. As a reply, he wrote the following 
letter : 

" Do not depend upon me, madame, for the next meeting ; since my 
convalescence I have so many affairs of this kind on my hands, that I 
am forced to regulate them a little. When your turn comes, I shall 
have the honour to inform you of it I kiss your hands. 

"De Wardes." 

Not a word about the ring. Was the Gascon determined to keep it 
as a weapon against milady ; or else, let us be frank, did he not reserve 
the jewel as a last resource for the equipment ? We should be wrong 
to judge of the actions of one period from the point of view of another. 
That which would now be considered as disgraceful to a gentleman, was 
at that time quite a simple and natural affair, and the cadets of the best 
families were frequently kept by their mistresses. D'Artagnan gave 
the open letter to Kitty, who at first was unable to comprehend it, but 
who became almost wild with joy on reading it a second time. She 
could scarcely believe in her happiness ; and whatever might be, con- 
sidering the violent character of milady, the danger which the poor girl 
incurred in giving this billet to her mistress, she ran back to the Place 
Royale as fast as her legs could carry her. 

Milady opened the letter with eagerness : but at the first words she 
read she became livid ; she crushed the paper in her hand, and turning 
with flashing eyes upon Kitty, — 

" What is this letter ?" cried she. 

" The answer to madame's ," replied Kitty, all in a tremble. 

" Impossible !" cried milady ; " it is impossible a gentleman could 
have written such a letter to a wowan." Then all at once, starting, — 


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"My God I" cried she, "can he have " and she stopped. She 

ground her teeth ; she was of the colour of ashes. She endeavoured to 
go towards the window for air, but she could only stretch forth her 
arms, her legs failed her, and she sank into zfauteuil. Kitty, fearing 
she was going to faint, hastened towards her, and was beginning to 
open her dress ; but milady started up, pushing her away. 

" What do you want with me ?" said she ; " and why do you place 
your hand on me ?" 

" I thought you were going to faint, milady," answered the terrified 

" I faint ! I ! I ! do you take me for a weak, silly woman, then ? 
When I am insulted I do not faint, I avenge myself !" 

And she made a sign for Kitty to leave the room. 



That evening milady gave orders that when M. D'Artagnan came as 
usual* he should be immediately admitted. But he did not come. 

The next day Kitty went to see the young man again, and related to 
him all that had passed on the preceding evening : D'Artagnan smiled; 
this jealous anger of milady was his revenge. 

That evening milady was still more impatient than on the preceding 
one ; she renewed the order relative to the Gascon ; but, as before, she 
expected him in vain. 

The next morning, when Kitty presented herself at D'Artagnan's 
residence, she was no longer joyous and alert, as she had been on the 
two preceding days, but on the contrary, as sad as possible. 

D'Artagnan asked the poor girl what was the matter with her, but 
she, as her only reply, drew a letter from her pocket and gave it to him. 

This letter was m milady's handwriting, only this time it was ad- 
dressed to M. D'Artagnan, and not to M. de Wardes. 

He opened it, and read as follows : 

"Dear Monsieur D'Artagnan— It is wrong thus to neglect your 
friends, particularly at the moment you are about to leave them for so 
a long time. My brother-in-law and myself expected you yesterday 
and the day before, but in vain. Will it be the same this evening ? 

" Your very grateful 

"Lady Clarik." 

" That's all very simple/* said D'Artagnan ; u I expected this letter. 
My credit rises by the fall of that of the Count de Wardes." 

" And will you go r" asked Kitty. 

" Listen to me, my dear girl," said the Gascon, who sought for an 
excuse in his own eyes for breaking the promise he had made Athos; 
" you must understand it would be impolitic not to accept such a posi- 


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live invitation. Milady, at not seeing me come again, would not be 
able to understand what could cause the interruption of my visits, 
and might suspect something s who could say how far the vengeance 
of such a woman would go ?" 

" Oh dear ! oh dear !" said Kitty, " you know how to represent 
things in such a way that you are always in the right. You are 
going now to pay your court to her again, and if, this time, you 
succeed in pleasing her in your own name and with your own face, 
it will be much worse than before." 

Instinct caused poor Kitty to guess a part of what was going to 

D'Artagnan reassured her as well as he could, and promised to 
remain insensible to the seductions of milady. 

He desired Kitty to tell her mistress that he could not be more 
grateful for her kindnesses than he was, and that he would be obedient 
to her orders : but he did not dare to write, for fear of not being able, 
to such experienced eyes as those of milady, to disguise his writing 

As nine o'clock struck, D'Artagpan was at the Place Royale. It was 
evident that the servants who waited in the antechamber were warned, 
for as soon as D'Artagnan appeared, before even he had asked if milady 
were visible, one of them ran to announce him. 

M Show him in," said milady, in a quick tone, but so piercing that 
D'Artagnan heard her in the antechamber. 

He was introduced 
. " I am at home to nobody," said milady ; "observe, to nobody." 

The servant went out. 

D'Artagnan cast an inquiring glance at milady. She was pale, and 
her eyes looked red, either from tears or want of sleep. The number 
of lights had been intentionally diminished, but the young woman could 
not conceal the traces of the lever which had devoured her during the 
last two days. 

D'Artagnan approached her with his usual gallantry. She then made 
an extraordinary effort to receive him, but never did a more dis- 
tressed countenance give the lie to a more amiable smile. 

To the questions which D'Artagnan put concerning her health, — 

" 111 !" replied she, " very ill !" 

" Then," replied he, " my visit is ill-timed ; you, no doubt, stand 
in need of repose, and I will not intrude longer." 

" No, no," said milady : "on the contrary. Stay, Monsieur D'Ar- 
tagnan, your agreeable company will divert me." 

"Oh! oh!" thought D'Artagnan. "She has never been so kind before. 
I must be on my guard." 

Milady assumed the most agreeable air possible, and conversed 
with more than her usual brilliancy. At the same time the fever, 
which for an instant abandoned her, returned to give lustre to her 
eyes, colour to her cheeks, and vermilion to her lips. D'Artagnan 
was again in the presence of the Circe who had before surrounded 


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him with her enchantments. His love, which he believed to be ex- 
tinct, but which was only asleep, awoke again in his heart Milady 
smiled, and D'Artagnan felt that he could damn himself for that 
smile. There was a moment at which he felt something like remorse. 

By degrees, milady became more communicative. She asked 
D'Artagnan if he had a mistress. 

" Alas !" said D'Artagnan, with the most sentimental air he could 
assume, " can you be cruel enough to put such a question to me ; 
to me, who, from the moment I saw you, have only breathed and 
sighed by you and for you !" 

Milady smiled with a strange smile. 

" Then you do love me ?" said she. 

" Have I any need to tell you so ? can you have failed to perceive 

" Perhaps I have ; but you know, the more hearts are worth the 
capture, the more difficult they are to be won ." 

" Oh ! difficulties do not affright me," said D'Artagnan. " I shrink 
before nothing but impossibilities." 

" Nothing is impossible," replied milady, " to true love." 

" Nothing, madame ?" 

" Nothing," replied milady. 

"The devil!" thought D'Artagnan. "The note is changed. Can she 
be going to fall in love with me, by chance, this fair inconstant, 
and be disposed to give me myself another sapphire like that which 
she gave me for De Wardes." 

D'Artagnan drew his seat nearer to milady's. 

" Well, now, let us see what you would do to prove this love of which 
you speak." 

" All that could be required of me. Order —I am ready." 
For everything ?" 

" For everything," cried D'Artagnan, who knew beforehand that he 
had not much to risk in engaging himself thus. 

"Well, now let us talk a little seriously," said milady, in her turn 
drawing her fauteuil nearer to D'Artagnan's chair. 

"I am all attention, madame," said he. 

Milady remained thoughtful and undecided for a moment ; then, as 
if appearing to have formed a resolution, — 

" I have an enemy," said she. 

"You, madame !" said D'Artagnan, affecting surprise; "is that 
possible ? My God ! good and beautiful as you are !" 

" A mortal enemy." 

" Indeed !" 

"An enemy, who has insulted me so cruelly, that between him and 
me it is war to the death. May I reckon on you as an auxiliary ?" 

D'Artagnan at once perceived what the vindictive creature was 
coming to. 

" You may, madame," said he, with emphasis. " My arm and my 
life are yours, as my love is." 


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" Then," said milady, " since you are as generous as you are loving — * 

She stopped. 
'Well ?" demanded D'Artagnan. 

" Well," replied milady, after a moment of silence, " from the present 
time cease to talk of impossibilities." 

" Do not overwhelm me with happiness !" cried D'Artagnan, throw- 
ing himself on his knees, and covering with kisses the hands she did 
not attempt to withdraw. 

"Avenge me of that infamous De Wardes," said milady to herself, 
"and I shall soon know how to get rid of you, double fool, living 
sword-blade !" 

"Fall voluntarily into my arms," said D'Artagnan, likewise to him- 
self, " after having abused me with such effrontery, hypocritical, dan- 
gerous woman, and afterwards I will laugh at you with nim whom you 
wish me to kill." 

D'Artagnan lifted up his head. 

"lam ready," said he. 

" You have understood me, then, dear Monsieur D'Artagnan," said 

" I could understand one of your looks." 

"Then you would employ on my account your arm, which has 
already acquired so much renown ?" 

" Instantly !" 

" But on my part," said milady, " how should I repay such a ser- 
vice? I know what lovers are; they are men who do nothing for 

"You know the only reply that I desire," said D'Artagnan, "the 
only one worthy of you and of me 1" 

And he drew nearer to her. 

She did not retreat. 

" Interested man !" cried she, smiling. 

" Ah !" cried D'Artagnan, really carried away by the passion this 
woman had the power to kindle in him, " Ah ! that is because my 
happiness appears so impossible to me ; and I have such fear that 
it should fly away from me like a dream, that I pant to make a reality 
of it" 

" Well ! merit this pretended happiness, then !" 

" I am at your orders," said D'Artagnan. 

" Quite certain ?" said milady, with a last doubt. 

" Only name to me the base man that has brought tears into your 
beautiful eyes !" 

" Who told you that I had been weeping ?" said she. 

" It appeared to roe " 

" Such women as I am don't weep," said milady. 

" So much the better ! Come, teU me what his name is ?" 

" Remember that his name is all my secret." 

" Yet I must know his name." 

" Yes, you must ; see what confidence I have in you !" 


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" You overwhelm me with joy. What is his name ?" 

" You know him." 

" Indeed. ,, 

" Yes." 

" It is surely not one of my friends F replied D'Artagnan, affecting 
hesitation, in order to make her believe him ignorant. 

" If it were one of your friends, you would hesitate then ?" cried 
milady ; and a threatening glance darted from her eyes. 

" Not if it were my own brother !" cried D'Artagnan, as if carried 
away by his enthusiasm. 

Our Gascon advanced this without risk, for he knew all that was 

" I love your devotedness," said milady. 

M Alas ! do you love nothing else in me ?" asked D'Artagnan. 

" I love you also, you !" said she, taking his hand. 

And the warm pressure made D'Artagnan tremble, as if by the touch, 
that fever which consumed milady was communicated to him. 

" You love me ! you !" cried he. " Oh ! if that were so, I should 
lose my reason !" 

And he folded her in his arms. She made no effort to remove her 
lips from his kisses, only she did not respond to them. 

Her lips were cold ; it appeared to D'Artagnan that he had 
embraced a statue. 

He was not the less intoxicated with joy, electrified by love ; he 
almost believed in the tenderness of milady ; he almost believed in the 
crime of De Wardes. If De Wardes had at that moment been under 
his hand, he would have killed him. 

Milady seized the desired moment. 

" His name is " said she, in her turn. 

" De Wardes ; I know it," cried D'Artagnan. 

" And how do you know it Y* asked milady, seizing both his hands, 
and endeavouring to read with her eyes to the bottom of his heart. 

D'Artagnan felt he had allowed himselPto be carried away, and that 
he had committed an error. 

" Tell me ! tell me ! tell me, I say," repeated milady, " how do you 
know it ?" 

" How do I know it ?" said D'Artagnan. 


" I know it, because, yesterday, M. de Wardes, in a salon where I 
was, showed a ring which he said he had of you." 

" Miserable scoundrel !" cried milady. 

The epithet, as may be easily understood, resounded to the very 
bottom of the heart of D'Artagnan. 
" Well ?» continued she. 

"Well, I will avenge you of this 'miserable scoundrel,' " replied 
D'Artagnan, giving himself the airs of Don Japhet of Armenia. 

" Thanks I my brave friend !" cried milady ; " and when shall I be 


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" To-morrow — immediately — when you please !" 

Milady was about to cry out, " immediately ;" but she reflected that 
such precipitation would not be very gracious towards D'Artagnan. 

Besides, she had a thousand precautions to take, a thousand counsels 
to give to her defender, in order that he might avoid explanations with 
the count before witnesses: All this was answered by an expression of 

u To-morrow/* said he, " you will be avenged, or I shall be dead !" 

u No !" said she, " you will avenge me ; but you will not be dead. 
He is a contemptible fellow." 

" Towards women he may be, but not towards men. I know some- 
thing of him." 

" But it seems you had not much to complain of your fortune in 
your contest with him ?" 

" Fortune is a courtesan ; though favourable yesterday, she may 
turn her back to-morrow. ,, 

" Which means that you now hesitate ?" 

" No, I do not hesitate ; God forbid ! But would it be just to allow 
me to go to a possible death, without having given me at least some- 
thing more than hope P 

Milady answered by a glance which, said, " Is that all, speak then ?" 
And then accompanying the glance with explanatory words, — 

u That is but too just," said she, tenderly. 

" Oh ! you are an angel !" exclaimed the young man. 

" Then all is agreed r said she. 

" Except that which I ask of you, dear love !" 

" But when I tell you that you may rely on my tenderness T 9 

" I cannot wait till to-morrow. 1 ' 

" Silence ! I hear my brother : it will be useless for him to find you 

She rang the bell, and Kitty appeared. 

" Go out this way," said she, opening a small private door, " and 
come back at eleven o'clock ; we will then terminate this conversation ; 
Kitty will conduct you to my chamber." 

The poor girl was near fainting at hearing these words. 

" Well ! mademoiselle ! what are you thinking about, standing there 
like a statue ? Do as I bid you ; show the chevalier the way ; and 
this evening, at eleven o'clock, — you have heard what I said." 

" It appears that these appointments are all made for eleven o'clock," 
thought D'Artagnan : M that's a settled custom." 

Milady held out her hand to him, which he kissed tenderly. 

" But," said he, as he retired as quickly as possible from the re- 
proaches of Kitty, "but I must not play the fool :— this is certainly a 
very bad woman, I must be upon my guard." 


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D'Artagnan left the hotel instead of going up at once to Kitty's 
chamber, as she endeavoured to persuade him to do, and that for two 
reasons : the first, because by this means he should escape reproaches, 
recriminations, and prayers ; the second, because he was not sorry to 
have an opportunity of examining his own thoughts, and endeavouring, 
if possible, to fathom those of this woman. 

What was most clear in the matter was that D'Artagnan loved milady 
like a madman, and that she did not love him at all. In an instant 
D'Artagnan perceived that the best way in which he could act would be 
to go home and write milady a long letter, in which he would confess to 
her that he and De Wardes were, up to the present moment, the same, 
and that consequently he could not undertake, without committing 
suicide, to kill the Count de Wardes. But he also was spurred on by a 
ferocious desire of vengeance ; he wished to subdue this woman in his 
own name ; and as this vengeance appeared to him to have a certain 
sweetness in it, he could not make up his mind to renounce it. 

He walked six or seven times round the Place Royale, turning, at 
every ten steps to look at the light in milady's apartment, which was to 
be seen through the blinds ; it was evident that this time the young 
woman was not in such haste to retire to her apartment as she had 
been the first. 

At length the light disappeared. 

With this light was extinguished the last irresolution in the heart of 
D'Artagnan: he recalled to his mind the details of the first night, and, 
with a beating heart and a brain on fire, he re-entered the hotel and 
flew towards Kitty's chamber. 

The poor girl pale as death, and trembling in all her limbs, wished to 
delay her lover ; but milady, with her ear on the watch, had heard the 
noise D'Artagnan had made, and, opening the door, — 

" Come in," said she. 

All this was of such incredible immodesty, of such monstrous effron- 
tery, that D'Artagnan could scarcely believe what he saw or what he 
heard. He imagined himself to be drawn into one of those fantastic 
intrigues which we meet with in our dreams. 

He, however, darted not the less quickly towards milady, yielding to 
that magnetic attraction which the loadstone exercises over iron. 

As the door closed after them, Kitty rushed towards it Jealousy, 
fury, offended pride, all the passions, in short, that dispute the heart of 
an outraged woman in love, urged her to make a revelation ; but she 
reflected that she would be totally lost if she confessed having assisted 
in such a machination, and, above all, that D'Artagnan would also be 
lost to her for ever. This last thought of love counselled her to make 
this last sacrifice. 

D'Artagnan, on his part, had gained the summit of all his wishes : it 
was no longer a rival that was beloved, it was he himself that was appa- 


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rently beloved. A secret voice whispered to him, at the bottom of his 
heart, that he was but an instrument of vengeance, that he was only 
caressed till he had given death ; but pride, but self-love, but madness 
silenced this voice, and stifled its murmurs. And then our Gascon, 
with that large quantity of conceit which we know he possessed, com- 
pared himself with De Wardes, and asked himself why, after all, he 
should not be beloved for himself ? 

He was absorbed entirely by the sensations of the moment Milady 
was no longer, for him, that woman of fatal intentions who had for a 
moment terrified him ; she was an ardent, passionate mistress, return- 
ing his love in full measure. 

But milady, who had not the same motives for forgetfulness that 
D'Artagnan had, was the first to return to reality, and asked the young 
man if the means which were on the morrow to bring on the rencontre 
between him and De Wardes were already arranged in his mind. 

But D'Artagnan, whose ideas had taken quite another course, forgot 
himself like a fool, and answered gallantly, that that was not the time 
to think about duels and sword-thrusts. 

This coldness for the only interests that occupied her mind terrified 
milady, whose questions became more pressing. 

Then D'Artagnan, who had never seriously thought of this impos- 
sible duel, endeavoured to turn the conversation, but he could not 
succeed. Milady kept him within the limits she had traced before- 
hand with her irresistible spirit and her iron will. 

D'Artagnan fancied himself very cunning when advising miladv to 
renounce, by pardoning De Wardes, the furious projects she had 

But at the first word she started, and exclaimed, in a sharp, banter- 
ing tone, which sounded strangely : 

" Are you afraid, dear D'Artagnan ?" 

" You cannot think me so, dear love !" replied D'Artagnan, " but 
now, suppose this poor Count de Wardes should be less guilty than 
you imagine him to be ?' 

" At all events," said milady, seriously, " he has deceived me, and, 
from the moment he deceived me, he merited death. " 

" He shall die, then, since you condemn him !" said D'Artagnan, in 
so firm a tone that it appeared to milady the expression of a devoted- 
ness superior to every trial 

This reassured her. 

When the faint light of dawn peeped through the blinds, milady 
warned D'Artagnan that it was time to depart, not forgetting to remind 
him of his promise to avenge her on the Count de Wardes. 

" I am quite ready," said D'Artagnan ; " but, in the first place, I 
should like to be certain of one thing." 

" And what is that ?" asked milady. 

" That is, whether you really love me ?" 

u You have little reason to ask such a question, I think." 

u Well, perhaps you do, and I am yours, body and soul !" 



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" Thanks, my brave lover ; but as you are satisfied of my love, you 
must, in your turn, satisfy me of yours. Is not that just ?" 

4< Certainly ; but if you love me as much as you say/' replied D'Ar- 
tagnan, " do you not entertain a little fear on my account ?" 

?< What have I to fear ?" 

" Why, that I may be dangerously wounded—killed even.* 

" Impossible !" cried milady ; " you are such a valiant man, and such 
an expert swordsman." 

" You would not, then, prefer a means," resumed D'Artagnan, " which 
would equally avenge you, whilst rendering the combat useless ?* 

Milady looked at her lover in silence ; the pale light of the first rays 
of day gave to her clear eyes a strangely frightful expression. 

" Really," said she, " I believe you now begin to hesitate." 

" No, I do not hesitate ; but I really pity this poor Count de Wardes, 
since you have ceased to. love him. I think that a man must be so 
severely punished by the loss of your love, that he stands in need of no 
other chastisement." 

" Who told you that I have loved him J 9 asked milady, sharply. 

u At least, I am now at liberty to believe, without too much fatuity, 
that you love another," said the young man, in a caressing tone, " and' I 
repeat that I am really interested for the count." 

" You are ?" asked milady. 

"Yes, I." 

" And on what account V* 

" Because I alone know " 


" That he is far from being, or rather having been, so guilty towards 
you as he appears to be." 

" Indeed !" said milady, in an anxious tone ; ** explain yourself, for I 
really cannot tell what you mean." 

And she looked at D'Artagnan. 

" Yes ; I am a man of honour," said D'Artagnan, detennined to come 
to an end, " and since your love is mine, and I am satisfied I possess it 
—for I do possess it, do I not ?" 

" Entirely ; go on." 

"Well, I feel as if transformed — a confession weighs on my mind." 

11 A confession !" 

" If I had the least doubt of your love I would not make it ; but you 
love me, do you not ?" 

" Without doubt I do." 

" Then if, through excess of love, I have rendered myself culpable 
towards you, you will pardon me ?" 

" Perhaps." 

D'Artagnan assumed his most winning smile, but it had no effect ; 
he had alarmed milady, and she involuntarily turned from him. 

" This confession," said she, growing paler and paler, w what is this 
confession !" 

" You gave I}e Wardes a meeting on Thursday last, in this very room, 
did you not ?" 


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" Who — I ? No, certainly not !" said milady, in a tone of voice so firm, 
and with a countenance so unchanged, that if D'Artagnan had not been 
in such perfect possession of the fact, he would have doubted. 

" Do not say that which is not true, my angel," said D'Artagnan, 
smiling ; " that would be useless." 

" What do you mean ? Speak ! you terrify me to death." 

" Be satisfied ; you are not guilty towards me — I have already par- 
doned you." 

" What next ? what next r* 

" De Wardes cannot boast of anything." 

" How is that ? You told me yourself that that ring " 

" That ring I have ! The Count de Wardes of last Thursday and the 
D'Artagnan of to-day are the same person !" 

The imprudent young man expected a surprise, mixed with shame— 
a slight storm, which would resolve itself into tears ; but he was 
strangely deceived, and his error was not of long duration. 

Pale and trembling, milady repulsed D'Artagnan's attempted em- 
brace by a violent blow on the chest, as she sprang from him. 

It was then broad daylight. 

In his eagerness to detain her, D'Artagnan had grasped her dress ; 
but the frail cambric could not stand against two such strong wills— it 
was torn from her fair round shoulders, and, to his horror and astonish- 
ment, D'Artagnan recognised upon one of them, indelibly branded, the 
mark which is impressed by the ignominious hand of the executioner. 

" Great God !" cried D'Artagnan, loosing his hold, and remaining 
mute, motionless, and frozen. 

But milady felt herself denounced by his terror even. He had doubt- 
less seen all. The young man now knew her secret, her terrible secret 
— the secret she concealed even from her maid with such care, the secret 
of which all the world, excepting he, was ignorant. 

She turned upon him, no longer like a furious woman, but like a 
wounded panther. 

" Ah, wretch 1" cried she, " thou hast basely betrayed me ! and still 
more, thou hast my secret ! Thou shalt die !" 

And she flew to a little inlaid casket which stood upon the toilet, 
opened it with a feverish and trembling hand, drew from it a small 
poniard with a golden haft and a sharp thin blade, and then threw 
herself with a bound upon D'Artagnan. 

Although the young man was, as we know, brave, he was terrified at 
that wild countenance, those terribly dilated pupils, those pale cheeks, 
and those bleeding lips. He drew back to tne other side of the room 
as he would have done from a serpent which was crawling towards him, 
and his sword coming in contact with his nervous hand, he drew it, 
almost unconsciously, from the scabbard. 

But, without taking any heed of the sword, milady endeavoured to get 
near enough to him to stab him, and did not stop till she felt the sharp 
point at her throat 

She then endeavoured to seize the sword with her hands ; but D'Ar- 



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tagnan kept it free from her grasp, and continued to present the point, 
sometimes at her eyes, sometimes at her breast, whilst he aimed at 
making his retreat by the door which led to Kitty's apartment 

Milady during this time continued to strike at hrni with her dagger 
with horrible rory, sc»eaming in a superhuman manner. 

As all this, however, bore some resemblance to a duel, D'Artagnan 
soon began to recover himself. 

" Very well, pretty lady, very well," said he ; " but, pardieu ! if you 
don't calm yourself, I will mark you with a second fleur-de-lis upon one 
of those pretty cheeks !" 

" Scoundrel ! infamous scoundrel !" howled milady. 

But D'Artagnan, still keeping on the defensive, drew near to Kitty's 
door. At the noise they made, she in overturning the furniture in her 
efforts to get at him, he in screening himself behind the furniture to 
keep out of her reach, Kitty, in great alarm, opened the door. D'Ar- 
tagnan, who had constantly manoeuvred to gain this point, was not at 
more than three paces from it. With one spring he flew from the 
chamber of milady into that of the maid, and, quick as lightning, he 
slammed-to the door, and placed all his weight against it, whilst Kitty 
bolted it 

Then milady attempted to tear down the door-case, with a strength 
apparently above that of a woman ; but finding she could not accom- 
plish this, she, in her fury, stabbed at the door with her poniard, the 
point of which repeatedly glittered through the wood. Every blow was 
accompanied with terrible imprecations. 

" Quick, Kitty, quick !" said D'Artagnan, in a low voice, as soon as 
the bolts were fast, " let me get out of the hotel ; for if we leave her 
time to turn round, she will have me killed by the servants !" 

"But you can't go out so," said Kitty; "you have hardly any 
clothes on." 

" That's true," said D'Artagnan, then first thinking of the costume he 
appeared in — M that's true ; but dress me as well as you are able, only 
make haste ; think, my dear girl, it's life and death !" 

Kitty was but too well aware of that In a moment she muffled him 
up in a large flowered robe, a capacious hood, and a cloak ; she gave 
him some slippers, in which he placed his naked feet, and then con- 
ducted him down the stairs. It was time : milady had already rung 
her bell, and roused the whole hotel ; the porter was drawing the cord 
at the moment milady cried from her window : 

u Don't open the gate ! don't open the gate !" 

The young man sprang out whilst she was still threatening him with 
an impotent gesture. At the moment she lost sight of him, milady 
sank back fainting into her chamber. 


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D'Artagnan was so completely bewildered that, without taking any 
heed of what would become of Kitty, he ran at full speed across half 
Paris, and did not stop till he came to Athos' door. The confusion of 
his mind, the terror which spurred him on, the cries of some of the 
patrol who started in pursuit of him, and the shouting of the people, 
who, notwithstanding the early hour, were going to their work, only 
made him precipitate his course. 

He crossed the court, ran up the two flights to Athos* apartments, 
and knocked at the door enough to break it down. 

Grimaud came, rubbing his half-open eyes, to answer this noisy 
summons, and D\Artagnan sprang with such violence into the room as 
nearly to overturn the astonished lackey. 

In spite of his habitual mutism, the poor lad th ; « time found his 

" Holloa, there !* cried he ; " what do you want, you strumpet ? 
What's your business here, you hussey r* 

D'Artagnan threw off his hood, and disengaged his hands from the 
folds of the cloak ; and, at sight of the moustaches and the naked 
sword, the poor devil perceived he had to deal with a man. He then 
concluded it must be an assassin. 

* Help ! murder ! help ! M cried he. 

" Hold your tongue, you stupid fellow !" said the young man ; " I am 
D'Artagnan — don't you know me ? Where is your master ?" 

" You, Monsieur D'Artagnan !" cried Grimaud, " impossible !" 

" Grimaud," said Athos, coming out of his apartment in a robe <U 
chambre^ " Grimaud, I thought I heard you permitting yourself to 

" Ah, monsieur, but " 

" Silence !" 

Grimaud contented himself with pointing D'Artagnan out to his 
master with his finger. 

Athos recognised his comrade, and, phlegmatic as he was, he burst 
into a laugh that was quite excused by the masquerade before his eyes : 
petticoats falling over his shoes, sleeves tucked up, and moustaches stiff 
with agitation. 

" Don't laugh, my friend !" cried D'Artagnan ; " for Heaven's sake, 
don't laugh, for, upon my soul, it's no laughing matter !'' 

And he pronounced these words with such a solemn air and with such 
a real appearance of terror, that Athos eagerly seized his hand, crying : 

" Are you wounded, my friend ? How pale you are !" 

" No, but I have just met with a terrible adventure ! Are you alone, 

" Parbleu ! who do you expect to find with me at this hour ?" 

" Well, well 1" and D'Artagnan rushed into Athos' chamber. 


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" Come, speak !" said the latter, closing the door and bolting it, that 
they might not be disturbed " Is the king dead ? Have you killed the 
cardinal? Why, you are quite beside yourself ! Come, come, tell me ; 
I am dying with curiosity and uneasiness !" 

" Athos," said D'Artagnan, getting rid of his female garments, and 
appearing in his shirt, " prepare yourself to hear an incredible, an un- 
heard-of history.* 

" Well, but put on that robe de chanibre first," said the musketeer to 
his friend. 

D'Artagnan got into the robe as quickly as he could, taking one sleeve 
for the other, so greatly was he still agitated. 

" WeU ?" said Athos. 

li Well," replied D'Artagnan, inclining his mouth to Athos* ear, and 
lowering his voice, " milady is marked with a fleur-de-lis upon her 
shoulder I" 

"Ah!" cried the musketeer, as if he had received a ball in his 

" Are you sure," said D'Artagnan, " are you sure that the other is 

" The other P said Athos, in so inward a voice that D'Artagnan 
scarcely heard him. 

" Yes ; she of whom you told me one day at Amiens." 

Athos uttered a groan, and let his head sink into his hands. * 

"This one is a woman of from twenty-six to twentv-eight years of age." 

" Fair," said Athos, " is she not ?" 

" Very." 

" Blue and clear eyes, of a strange brilliancy, with black eyelids and 
eyebrows ?" 


" Tall, well-made ? She has lost a tooth, next to the eye-tooth on the 


" The fleur-de-lis is small, red in colour, and looks as if endeavours 
had been made to efface it with paste of some kind ?" 


" But you say she is an Englishwoman ?" 

" She is called Milady, but, notwithstanding that, she may be a 
Frenchwoman. Lord de Winter is only her brother-in-law." 

" I will see her, D'Artagnan !" 

"Beware, Athos, beware ; you endeavoured to kill her ; she is a woman 
to return you the like, and not to fail, I promise you." 

" She will not dare to say anything); that would be to denounce her- 

" She is capable of anything or everything. Did you ever see her 
furious ?" 

" No," said Athos. 

" A tigress ! a panther ! Ah ! my dear Athos, I am greatly afraid I 
have drawn a terrible vengeance on both of us !" 


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iD'Artagnan then related all : the mad passion of milady and her 
menaces of death to him. 

" You are right, and upon my soul, I would give my life for a hair," 
said Athos. "Fortunately, the day after to-morrow we leave Paris. 
We are going, according to all probability, to La Rochelle, and once 
gone " 

" She will follow you to the end of the world, Athos, if she recognises 
you ; let her then exhaust her vengeance on me alone !" 

" My dear friend ! of what consequence is it if she kills me ?" said 
Athos, " do you, perchance, think I set any great store by life ?" 

" There is something horribly mysterious under all this, Athos ; this 
woman is one of the cardinal's spies, I am sure of that" 

" In that case take care of yourself. If the cardinal does not hold you 
m high admiration for the affair of London, he entertains a great hatred 
for you ; but as, considering everything, he cannot accuse you openly, 
and as hatred must be satisfied, particularly when it's a cardinal's hatred, 
take care of yourself ! If you go out, do not go out alone ; when you 
eat, use every precaution ; mistrust, in short, everything, even your own 

" Fortunately," said D'Artagnan, " all this will be only necessary till 
after to-morrow evening, for when once with the army, we shall have, I 
hope, only men to dread." 

" In the meantime," said Athos, " I renounce my plan of seclusion, 
and wherever you go, I will go with you : you must return to the Rue 
des Fossoyeurs ; I will accompany you." 

" Yes, but however near it may be, I cannot go thither in this 

" That's true," said Athos, and he rang the bell. 

Grimaud entered. 

Athos made him a sign to go to D'Artagnan's residence, and bring 
back some clothes. Grimaud replied, by another sign, that he under- 
stood perfectly, and set off. 

" All this will not advance your equipment," said Athos, " for, if I am 
not mistaken, you have left the best of your apparel at milady's, and she 
will certainly not have the politeness to return it to you. Fortunately, 
you have the sapphire." 

" The sapphire is yours, my dear Athos ! Did you not tell me it was 
a family jewel ?" 

u Yes, my father gave two thousand crowns for it, as he once told 
me ; it formed part of the nuptial present he made my mother ; and 
it is magnificent My mother gave it to me, and I, fool as I was, 
instead of keeping the ring as a holy relic, gave it to this wretched 

" Then,my friend, take back this ring, to which,it is plain, you attach 
much value." 

" I take back the ring, after it has passed through the hands of that 
infamous creature ! never ! that ring is defiled, D Artagnan." 

" Sell it, then." 


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" Sell a diamond which was the gift of my mother. I must confess I 
should consider that as a profanation. 1 ' 

" Pledge it, then ; you can borrow at least a thousand crowns on it 
With that sum you can extricate yourself from your present difficulties ; 
and when you are full of money again, you can redeem it, and take it 
back cleansed from its ancient stains, as it will have passed through the 
hands of usurers." 

Athos smiled. 

" You are a capital companion, D'Artagnan," said he ; " your never- 
failing cheerfulness raises poor souls in affliction. Agreed, let us pledge 
the ring, but upon one condition." 

"What is that?" 

" That there shall be five hundred crowns for you, and five hundred 
crowns for me." 

"Don't think of such a thing, Athos ; I don't want the half of such a 
sum. I who am still only in the guards, and by selling my saddles, I 
shall get it What do I want ? A horse for Planchet, that's alL Be- 
sides, you forget that I have a ring likewise." 

" To which you attach more value than I do to mine ; at least, I have 
thought it seemed so." 

" Yes, for in any extreme circumstance it might not only extricate us 
from some great embarrassment, or even a great danger ; it is not only 
a valuable diamond, it is an enchanted talisman." 

*' I don't at all understand you, but I believe all you say to be true. 
Let us return to my ring, or rather to yours ; you shall take half the 
sum that will be advanced upon it, or I will throw it into the Seine ; 
and I doubt, as was the case with Polycrates, whether any fish will be 
sufficiently complaisant to bring it back to us." 

11 Well, I will take it, then," said D'Artagnan. 

At this moment Grimaud returned, accompanied by Planchet ; the 
latter, anxious about his master, and curious to know what had hap- 
pened to him, took advantage of the opportunity, and brought his 
clothes himself. 

D'Artagnan dressed himself, and Athos did the same. When about 
to go out, the latter made Grimaud the sign of a person taking an aim, 
and the lackey immediately took down his musketoon, and got ready to 
follow his master. 

They arrived without accident at the Rue des Fossoyeurs. Bonacieux 
was standing at the door ; he cast one x>f his ill-meaning, bantering 
looks at D'Artagnan as he passed him, — 

" Make haste, my dear lodger," said he ; " there is a very pretty girl 
waiting for you upstairs ; and, you know, women don't like to be made 
to wait" 

"That's Kitty!" said D'Artagnan to himself, and darted into the 

In fact, upon the landing leading to the chamber, and crouching 
against the door, he found the poor girl, all in a tremble. As soon as 
she perceived him v — 


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" You promised to protect me ; you promised to save me from her 
anger," said she ; " remember, it was you who ruined me !" 

" Yes, yes, to be sure, Kitty," said D'Artagnan ; " be at ease, my girl. 
But what happened after my departure ?" 

" How can I tell !" said Kitty. " The lackeys were brought by the 
cries she made,— she was mad with passion ; there exist no impreca- 
tions she did not utter against you. Then I thought she would remem- 
ber it was through my chamber you had gone into hers, and that then 
she would suppose I was your accomplice ; so I took what little money 
I had and the best of my things, and I got away as fast as I could." 

" Poor dear girl ! But what can I do with you ? I am going away 
the day after to-morrow." 

" Do what you please, monsieur le chevalier ; help me out of Paris ; 
help me out of France !" 

" I cannot take you, however, to the siege of La Rochelle," said 

" No ; but you can place me in one of the provinces, with some lady 
of your acquaintance ; in your own country, for instance." 

" My dear little love ! in my country the ladies do without chamber- 
maids. But, stop ; I can manage your business for you. Planchet, go 
and find M. Aramis ; request him to come here directly. We have 
something very important to say to him." 

u I understand," said Athos ; " but why not Porthos ? I should have 
thought that his duchess " 

" Oh 1 Porthos* duchess is dressed by her husband's clerks," said 
D'Artagnan, laughing. " Besides, Kitty would not like to live in the 
Rue aux Ours." 

u I do not care where I live," said Kitty, " provided I am well con- 
cealed, and she does not know where I am." 

u And now, Kitty, when we are about to separate, and you are no 
longer jealous of me " 

* Monsieur le chevalier, far off or near, be where I may, I shall always 
love you." 

" Where the devil will constancy take up its abode next ?" said Athos 
to himself. 

"And I also," said D'Artagnan ; " I also shall always love you ; be 
sure of that But now, answer me ; I attach great importance to the 
question I am about to put to you. Did you never hear talk of a yourg 
woman who was carried off one night ?" 

" There now !- Oh ! monsieur le chevalier, do you love that woman 

" No, no ; it is one of my friends who loves her — M. Athos ; this 
gentleman here." 

" I ?" cried Athos, with an accent like that of a man who perceives 
he was about to tread upon an adder. 

"You, to be sure!" said D'Artagnan, pressing Athos' hand. "Ycu 
know the interest we both take in this poor little Madame Bonacieux. 
Besides, Kitty will tell nothing ; wili you, Kitty ? You understand, my 


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dear girl," continued D'Artagnan, " she is the wife of that frightful 
baboon you saw at the door as you came in." 

" Oh ! mon Dieu ! you remind me of my fright ! if he should have 
known me again !" 

" What ! know you again ! Did you ever see that man before r" 

" He came twice to milady's." 

" That's it About what time ?" 

" Why, about fifteen or eighteen days ago." 

" Exactly so." 

"And yesterday evening he came again." 

" Yesterday evening ?' 

" Yes, just before you came." 

" My dear Athos, we are enveloped in a network of spies ! And do 
you believe he knew you again, Kitty ?" 

M I pulled down my hood as soon as I saw him, but perhaps it was too 

" Go down, Athos, he mistrusts you less than me, and see if he be still 
at his door." 

Athos went down and returned immediately. 

" He is gone," said he, " and the house door is shut" 

" He is gone to make his report, and to say that the pigeons are at 
this moment all in the dovecote." 

" Well, then, let us all fly away " said Athos, " and leave nobody here 
but Pianchet, to bring us news." 

" A minute. But Aramis, whom we have sent for !* 

" That's true," said Athos, " we must wait for Aramis." 

At that moment Aramis arrived. 

The matter was all explained to him, and the friends gave him to 
understand that among all his high connections he must find a place 
for Kitty. 

Aramis reflected for amkiute, and then said, colouring :— u Will it be 
really rendering you a service, D'Artagnan ?" 

" I shall be grateful to you all my life." 

" Very well ; Madame de Bois-Tracy asked me, for one of her friends 
who resides in the provinces, I believe, for a trustworthy femme de 
chambre ; and if you can, my dear D'Artagnan, answer for made- 
moiselle " 

" Oh! monsieur, be assured that I shall be entirely devoted to the 
person who will give me the means of quitting Paris." 

" Then," said Aramis, " this falls out very well." 

He placed himself at the table, and wrote a little note which he sealed 
with a ring, and gave the billet to Kitty. 

" And now, my dear girl," said D'Artagnan, " you know that it is not 
good for any of us to be here. Therefore let us separate. We shall meet 
again in better days, depend upon it" 

" Dicers' oaths !" said Athos, whilst D'Artagnan went to conduct 
Kitty downstairs. 

An instant afterwards the three young men separated, agreeing to 


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meet again at four o'clock at Athos' residence, and leaving Planchet to 
guard the house. 

Aramis returned home, and Athos and D'Artagnan went about 
pledging the sapphire. 

As the Gascon had foreseen, they found no difficulty in obtaining 
three hundred pistoles upon the ring. Still further, the Jew told 
them that if they would sell it to him, as it would make a magnificent 
pendant for ear-rings, he would give five hundred pistoles for it 

Athos and D'Artagnan, with the activity of two soldiers, and the 
knowledge of two connoisseurs, hardly required three hours to purchase 
the entire equipment of the musketeer. Besides, Athos was very easy, 
and a noble to his fingers' ends. Whenever a thing suited him, he 
directly paid the price asked for it, without thinking to ask for any 
abatement D'Artagnan would have remonstrated at this, but Athos 
put his hand upon his shoulder, with a smile, and D'Artagnan under- 
stood that it was all very well for such a little Gascon gentleman as 
himself to drive a bargain, but not for a man who had the bearing 
of a prince. The musketeer met with a superb Andalusian|horse, black as 
jet, nostrils of fire, legs clean and elegant, rising six. He examined him, 
and found him sound and without blemish ; he was asked a thousand 
livres for him. 

He might, perhaps, have been bought for less ; but whilst D'Artag- 
nan was discussing the price with the dealer, Athos was counting the 
money down on the table. 

Grimaud had a stout, short Picard cob, which cost three hundred livres. 

But when the saddle and arms for Grimaud were purchased, Athos 
had not a sou left of his hundred and fifty pistoles. D'Artagnan offered 
his friend a part of his share, which he should return when convenient. 

But Athos only replied to this proposal by shrugging his shoulders. 

" How much did the Jew say he would give for the sapphire, if he 
purchased it ?" said Athos. 

" Five hundred pistoles." 

"That is to say, two hundred more ! a hundred pistoles for you, and 
a hundred pistoles for me. Well, now, that would be a real fortune to 
us, my friend ; let us go back to the Jew's again." 

" What ! will you ?" 

"This ring would certainly only recall very bitter remembrances ; 
then we shall never be masters of three hundred pistoles to redeem it ; 
so that we really should lose two hundred pistoles by the bargain. Go 
and tell him the ring is his, D'Artagnan, and bring back the two hun- 
dred pistoles with you." 

" Reflect, Athos !" 

" Ready money is dear for the time that passes, and we must learn 
how to make sacrifices. Go, D'Artagnan, go ; Grimaud will accompany 
you with his musquetoon." 

Half an hour afterwards, D'Artagnan returned with the two thousand 
livres, and without having met with any accident. 

It was thus Athos found at home resources which he did not expect. 


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At four o'clock the four friends were all assembled at Athos* apart- 
ments. Their anxiety about their equipments had all disappeared, and 
each countenance only preserved the expression of its own secret in- 

3uietudes ; for behind all present happiness is concealed a fear for 
le future. 

Suddenly Planchet entered, bringing two letters for D'Artagnan. 

The one was a little billet, genteelly folded, with a pretty seal in green 
wax, on which was impressed a dove bearing a green branch. 

The other was a large square epistle, resplendent with the terrible 
arms of his eminence the cardinal duke. 

At the sight of the little letter the heart of D'Artagnan bounded, for 
he believed he had seen that writing before ; and although he had seen 
that writing but once, the memory of it remained at the bottom of his 

He therefore seized the little letter, and opened it eagerly. 

" Be," said the letter, " on Thursday next, at seven o'clock in the 
evening, on the road to Chaillot, and look carefully into the carriages 
that pass ; but if you have any consideration for your own life or that 
of those who love you, do not speak a single word, do not make a move- 
ment which may lead any one to believe you have recognised her, who 
exposes herself to everything for the sake of seeing you but for an 

No signature. 

" That's a snare,* said Athos ; " don't go, D'Artagnan." 

" And yet," replied D'Artagnan, " I think I recognise the writing." 

" That may be forged,* said Athos ; u between six and seven o'clock, 
the road of Chaillot is quite deserted ; you might as well go and ride in 
the forest of Bondy." 

" But suppose we all go." said D'Artagnan ; " what the devil ! they 
won't devour us all four ; four lackeys, horses, arms, and all !" 

" And, besides, it will be a good opportunity for displaying our new 
equipments* said Porthos. 

" But, if it is a woman that writes,'* said Aramis, "and that woman 
desires not to be seen, remember, you compromise her, D'Artagnan ; 
which is not behaving like a gentleman* 

" We will remain in the background ; and he will advance alone." 

" Yes, but a pistol-shot is easily fired from a carriage, however fast it 
may be going." 

" Bah !" said D'Artagnan, u they will miss me ; if they fire, we will 
ride after the carriage, and exterminate those who may be in it. They 
must be enemies." 

" He is right," said Porthos ; u battle I besides, it will be a good op- 
portunity to try our new arms." 

" Let us enjoy that pleasure," said Aramis, in his mild and careless 


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A V1SI0X. 301 

" As you please," said Athos. 

" Gentlemen," said D'Artagnan, " it is half-past four, and we have 
scarcely time to be on the road of Chaillot by six." 

" Besides, if we go out late, nobody will see us," said Porthos, " and 
that will be a pity. Let us get ready, gentlemen." 

" But this second letter,* said Athos, " you forget that ; it appears to 
me, however, that the seal denotes that it deserves to be opened ; for 
my part, I declare, D'Artagnan, I think it of much more consequence 
than the little piece of waste paper you have so cunningly slipped into 
your bosom." 

D'Artagnan blushed. 

tt Well, said he, *' let us see, gentlemen, what are his eminence's 
commands," and D'Artagnan unsealed the letter, and read : 

u M. D'Artagnan, of the King's Guards, company Des Essarts, is ex- 
pected at the Palais-Cardinal, this evening at eight o'clock. 

cl La Houdeniere, Captain of the Guards." 

a The devil !" said Athos ; " here's a rendezvous much more serious 
than the other." 

" I will go to the second, after attending the first," said D'Artagnan, 
u one is for seven o'clock, and the other for eight : there will be time 
for both." 

" Hum ! Now, I would not go at all," said Aramis ; " a gallant knight 
cannot decline an appointment made by a lady ; but a prudent gentle- 
man may excuse himself from not waiting on his eminence, particularly 
when he has reason to believe he is not invited for courteous purposes." 

" I am of Aramis' opinion," said Porthos. 

w Gentlemen," replied D'Artagnan, " I have already received by M. 
de Cavois a similar invitation from his eminence ; I neglected it, and 
on the morrow a serious misfortune happened to me ! — Constance dis- 
appeared. Whatever may ensue, I will go." 

" If you are determined," said Athos, " do so." 

" Yes, but the Bastille ?" said Aramis. 

" Bah ! you will get me out. if they put me there," said D'Artagnan. 

u To be sure we will," replied Aramis and Porthos, with admirable 
promptness and decision, as if that were the simplest thing in the world, 
— " to be sure we will get you out, if there ; but in the mean time, as we 
are to set off the day after to-morrow, you would do much better not to 
risk this Bastille." 

"Let us do better than that," said Athos, " do not let us leave him 
during the whole evening ; let each of us wait at a gate of the palace 
with a musketeer behind him; if we see any carriage with closed 
windows, and of at all suspicious appearance, come out, let us fall upon 
it : it is a long time since we have had a skirmish with the guards of 
Monsieur le Cardinal ; M. de TreVille must thinkus dead." 

" To a certainty, Athos," said Aramis, " you were meant to be a 
general ; what do you think of the plan, gentlemen ?" 


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" Admirable !" replied the young men in chorus. 

w Well !" said Porthos, " I will run to the hotel, and engage our com- 
rades to hold themselves in readiness by eight o'clock, the rendezvous, 
the Place du Palais-Cardinal ; in the mean time, you see that the 
lackeys saddle the horses." 

" I have no horse," said D'Artagnan, " but that is of no consequence, 
I can take one of M. de Tre'ville's." 

"That is not worth while," said Aramis, "you can have one of 

u One of yours ! how many have you, then 7* asked D'Artagnan. 

" Three," replied Aramis smiling. 

u Certes," cried Athos, ** you are the best mounted poet of France or 

" Well, but Aramis, you don't want three horses ? I cannot compre- 
hend what induced you to buy three!" 

u Therefore I only purchased two," said Aramis. 

" The third then fell from the clouds, I suppose ?" 

" No, the third was brought to me this very morning by a groom out 
of livery, who would not tell me in whose service he was, and who said 
he had received orders from his master." 

•' Or his mistress," interrupted D'Artagnan. 

" That makes no difference," said Aramis, colouring ; u and who 
affirmed, as I said, that he had received orders from his mistress to 
place the horse in my stable, without informing me whence it came." 

" It is only to poets that such things happen," said Athos gravely. 

" Well, in that case, we can manage famously," said D'Artagnan ; 
" which of the two horses will you ride ; that which you bought, or the 
one that was given to you ?" 

" That which was given to me, without doubt, — you cannot for a 
moment imagine, D'Artagnan, that I should commit such an offence 
towards " 

" The unknown giver," interrupted D'Artagnan. 

" Or the mysterious benefactress," said Athos. 

" The one you bought will then become useless to you ?" 

* Nearly so." 

" And you selected it yourself?" 

" With the greatest care : the safety of the horseman, you know, 
depends almost always upon the goodness of his horse." 

" Well, let me have it at the price it cost you ?" 

" I was going to make you the offer, my dear D'Artagnan, giving you 
all the time necessary for repaying me such a trifle." 

" How much did it cost you ?" 

" Eight hundred livres." 

14 Here are forty double pistoles, my dear friend," said D'Artagnan, 
taking the sum from his pocket ; " I know that is the coin in which you 
were paid for your poems." 

" You are full of money, then ?" said Aramis. 

" Money !— rolling in it, my dear fellow !" 


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A VISION. 303 

And D'Artagnan chinked the remainder of his pistoles in his pocket. 

M Send your saddle, then, to the hotel of the musketeers, and your 
horse can be brought back with ours." 

u Very well : but it is already five o'clock, so make haste." 

A quarter of an hour afterwards, Porthos appeared at the end of the 
Rue Ferou, mounted upon a very handsomegenet ; Mousaueton followed 
him upon an Auvergne horse, small, but very good-looking : Porthos 
was resplendent with joy and pride. 

At the same time, Aramis made his appearance at the other end of 
the street, upon a superb English charger ; Bazin followed him upon a 
roan, leading a splendid, vigorous Mecklenburg horse ; this last was 

The two musketeers met at the gate ; Athos and D'Artagnan watched 
their approach from the window. 

" The devil," cried Aramis, " you have a magnificent horse there, 

u Yes," replied Porthos, " it is the one that ought to have been sent to 
me at first ; a bad joke of the husband's substituted the other ; but 
the good man has been punished since, and I have obtained full 

Grimaud then led up his master's horse ; D'Artagnan and Athos 
came down, got into their saddles, and all four set forward : Athos upon 
a horse he owed to a woman, Aramis on a horse he owed to his mis- 
tress, Porthos on a horse he owed to the procureuse, and D'Artagnan 
on a horse he owed to his good fortune, the best mistress possible. 

The lackeys followed. 

As Porthos had foreseen, the cavalcade produced a good effect ; and 
if Madame Coquenard had met Porthos, and seen what a superb 
appearance he made upon his handsome Spanish genet, she would not 
have regretted the bleeding she had inflicted upon the strong box of 
her husband. 

Near the Louvre the four friends met with M. de TreVille, who was 
returning from St Germain ; he stopped them to offer his compliments 
upon their appointments, which in an instant drew round them a hun- 
dred gapers. 

D'Artagnan took advantage of the circumstance to speak to M. de 
TreVille of the letter with the great red seal, and the cardinal's arms ; 
we beg it to be understood that he did not breathe a word concerning 
the other. 

M. de TreVille approved of the resolution he had adopted, and assured 
him, that if on the morrow he did not appear, he himself would under- 
take to find him, let him be where he might. 

At this moment the clock of La Samaritaine struck six : the four 
friends pleaded an engagement, and took leave of M. de TreVille. 

A short gallop brought them to the road of Chaillot ; the day began 
to decline, carriages were passing and repassing ; D'Artagnan, keeping 
at some distance from his friends, darted a scrutinizing glance into every 
carriage that appeared, but saw no face with which he was acquainted. 


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At length, after waiting a quarter of an hour, and just as twilight was 
beginning to thicken, a carriage appeared, coming at a quick pace on 
the road of Sevres ; a presentiment instantly told D'Artagnan that this 
carriage contained the person who had appointed the rendezvous ; the 
young man was himself astonished to find his heart beat so violently. 
Almost instantly a female head was put out at the window, with two 
fingers placed upon her mouth, either to enjoin silence or to send him 
a kiss ; D'Artagnan uttered a slight cry of joy : this woman, or rather 
this apparition, for the carriage passed with the rapidity of a vision, was 
Madame Bonacieux. 

By an involuntary movement, and in spite of the injunction given, 
D'Artagnan put his horse into a gallop, and in a few strides overtook 
the carriage ; but the window was close shut, the vision had disappeared. 
D'Artagnan then remembered the injunction: * If you value vour 
own life, or that of those who love you, remain motionless, and as if you 
had seen nothing." 

He stopped, therefore, trembling, not for himself, but for the poor 
woman who had evidently exposed herself to great danger by appointing 
this rendezvous. 

The carriage pursued its way, still going at a great pace, till it dashed 
into Paris, and disappeared. 

D'Artagnan remained fixed to the spot, astounded, and not knowing 
what to think. If it was Madame Bonacieux, and if she was returning 
to Paris, why this fugitive interview, why this simple exchange of a 
glance, why this last kiss ? If, on the other side, it was not she, which 
was still quite possible, for the little light that remained rendered a 
mistake easy ; if it was not she, might it not be the commencement of 
some machination against him with the bait of this woman, for whom 
his love was known ? 

His three companions joined him. All had plainly seen a woman's 
head appear out at the window, but none of them, except Athos, knew 
Madame Bonacieux. The opinion of Athos was that it was Madame 
Bonacieux ; but less preoccupied by that pretty face than D'Artagnan, 
he had fancied he saw a second head, a man's head, in the carriage. 

" If that be the case," said D'Artagnan, " they are doubtless trans- 
porting her from one prison to another. But what can they intend to 
do with the poor creature, and how shall I ever meet her again ?" 

" My friend," said Athos, gravely, " remember that it is the dead 
alone with whom we are not likely to meet again on this earth. 
You know something of that, as well as I do, I think. Now, if your 
mistress is not dead, if it is her we have just seen, you will meet with 
her again some day or other. And perhaps, my God !" added he, with 
that misanthropic tone which was peculiar to him, " perhaps sooner 
than you wish." 

Half-past seven had struck, the carriage was twenty minutes behind 
the time appointed. D'Artagnan's friends reminded him that he had a 
visit to pay, but at the same time calling it to his observation that there 
was still time to retract 


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A V1SI0M #5 

But D'Artagnan was at the same time impetuous and curious. He 
had made up his mind that he would go to the Palais- Cardinal, and that 
he would learn what his eminence had to say to him : nothing could 
turn him from his purpose. 

They reached the Rue St. Honore*, and in the Place du Palais-Cardi- 
nal they found the twelve convoked musketeers, walking about in ex- 
pectation of their comrades. There only they made them acquainted 
with the matter in question. 

D'Artagnan was well known in the honourable corps of the king's 
musketeers, in which it had been stated that he was, one day, to take his 
place : he was considered, beforehand, as their comrade. It resulted 
from these antecedents that every one entered heartily into the purpose 
for which they met ; besides, it would not be unlikely that they should 
have an opportunity of playing either the cardinal or his people an ill 
turn, and for such expeditions these worthy gentlemen were always 

Athos divided them into three groups, assumed the command of one, 
gave the second to Aramis, and the third to Porthos, and then each 
group went and took a position for watching, near an entrance. 

D'Artagnan, on his part, entered boldly at the front gate. 

Although he felt himself ably supported, the young man was not 
without a little uneasiness as he ascended the great staircase, step by 
step. His conduct towards milady bore a strong resemblance to trea- 
chery, and he was very suspicious of the political relations which 
existed between that woman and the cardinal; still further, De Wardes, 
whom he had treated so ill, was one of the creatures of his eminence, 
and D'Artagnan knew, that whilst his eminence was terrible to his 
enemies, he was strongly attached to his friends. 

" If De Wardes has related all our affair to the cardinal, which is not 
to be doubted, and if he has recognised me, which is probable, I may 
consider myself almost as a condemned man," said D'Artagnan, shaking 
his head. " But why has he waited till now ? Humph ! that's all plain 
enough : milady has laid heT complaint against me with that hypocriti- 
cal grief which renders her so interesting, and this last offence has made 
the cup overflow." 

" Fortunately," added he, " my good friends are down yonder, and 
they will not allow me to be carried away easily. Nevertheless, M. de 
Treville's company of musketeers alone cannot maintain a war against 
the cardinal, who disposes of the forces of all France, and before whoin 
the queen is without power and the king without will. D'Artagnan, 
my friend, you are brave, you are prudent, you have excellent qualities, 
but the women will ruin you !" 

Hecame to this melancholy conclusion ashe entered the antechamber. 
He placed his letter in the hands of the usher on duty, who led him 
into the waiting-room, and passed on into the interior of the palace. 

In this waiting-room were five or six of the cardinal's guards, who 
recognised D'Artagnan, and knowing that it was he who had wounded 
Jussac, they looked upon him with a smile of singular meaning. 



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This smile appeared to D'Artagnan to be of bad augury : only, as our 
Gascon was not easily intimidated, or rather, thanks to a great pride 
natural to the men of his country, he did not allow himself easily to see 
that which was passing in his mind, when that which was passing at all 
resembled fear, he placed himself haughtily in front of messieurs the 
guards, and waited with his hand on his hip, in an attitude by no means 
deficient in majesty. 

The usher returned and made a sign to D'Artagnan to follow him 
It appeared to the young man that the guards, on seeing him depart, 
whispered among themselves. 

He followed a corridor, crossed a grand saloon, entered a library, and 
found himself in the presence of a man seated at a desk and writing. 

The usher introduced him and retired without speaking a word. 
D'Artagnan remained standing and examined this man. 

D'Artagnan at first believed that he had to do with some judge 
examining his papers, but he perceived that the man of the desk wrote 
or rather corrected lines of unequal length, scanning the words on his 
fingers ; he saw then that he was m face of a poet At the end of an 
instant the poet closed his* manuscript, upon the cover of which was 
written, Af frame, a tragedy in five acts, and raised his head. 

D'Artagnan recognised the cardinal. 



The cardinal leant his elbow on his manuscript, his cheek upon his 
hand, and looked intently at the young man for a moment No one had 
a more searching eye than the Cardinal de Richelieu, and D'Artagnan 
felt this glance penetrate his veins like a fever. 

He, however, kept a* good countenance, holding his hat in his hand, 
and awaiting the good pleasure of his eminence, without too much 
assurance, but without too much humility. 

" Monsieur," said the cardinal, " are you a D'Artagnan from Beam !" 

" Yes, monseigneur," replied the young man. 

" There are several branches of the D'Artagnans at Tarbes, and in its 
environs," said the cardinal ; " to which do you belong T 9 

" I am the son of him who served in the religious wars under the great 
King Henry, the father of his gracious majesty." 

" That is well. It is you who set out, seven or eight months ago, from 
your country to try your fortune in the capital r* 

" Yes, monseigneur." 

" You came through Meung, where something befell you, I don't very 
well know what, but still something.* 

" Monseigneur," said D'Artagnan, "this was what happened to 

me * 

• " Of no consequence, of no consequence 1" resumed the cardinal with 


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& smile, which indicated that he knew the story as well as he who wished 
to relate it ; " you were recommended to M. de Tre*ville, were you 

" Yes, monseigneur, but in that unfortunate affair at Meung " 

" The letter was lost," replied his eminence ; " yes, I know that ; but 
M. de TreVille is a skilful physiognomist, who knows men at first sight ; 
and he placed you in the company of his brother-in-law, M. des Essarts, 
leaving you to hope, that one day or other you should enter the mus- 

" Monseigneur is quite correctly informed," said D'Artagnan. 

" Since that time many things have happened to you : you were walk- 
ing one day behind the Chartreux, when it would have been better foi 
you if you had been elsewhere ; then you took with your friends a journey 
to the waters of Forges ;they stopped on the road, but you continued 
yours. That is all very simple, you had business in England." 

" Monseigneur," said D'Artagnan, quite confused, " I went—" 

" Hunting at Windsor, or elsewhere : that concerns nobody. I am 
acquainted with the circumstances, because it is my position to know 
everything. On your return, you were received by an august personage, 
and I perceive with pleasure that you preserve the souvenir she gave 

D'Artagnan placed his hand upon the queen's diamond, which he 
wore* and quickly turned the collet inwards ; but it was too late. 

" The day after that, you received a visit from Cavois," resumed the 
cardinal : ''he went to desire you to come to the palace ; you did not 
return that visit, and you were wrong." 

u Monseigneur, I feared I had incurred the anger of your eminence." 

"How could that be, monsieur? Could you incur my anger by 
having followed the orders of your superiors with more intelligence and 
courage than another would have done ? It is the people who do not 
obey that I punish, and not those who, like you, obey but too well.-— As 
a proof, remember the date of the day on which I caused you to be in- 
formed that I desired you to come to me, and seek in your memory for 
what happened to you that very night." 

That was the very evening on which the carrying off of Madame 
Bonacieux took place ; D'Artagnan trembled ; and he likewise recol- 
lected that half an hour before the poor woman had passed close to him, 
without doubt, carried away by the same power that had caused her dis- 

" In short," continued the cardinal, "as I have heard nothing of you 
for some time past, I wished to know what you were doing ; besides, 
you owe me some thanks ; you must yourself have remarked how much 
you have been considered in all the circumstances." 

D'Artagnan bowed with respect 

" That," continued the cardinal, "arose not only from a feeling of 
natural equity, but likewise from a plan I have marked out with respect 
to you." 

D'Artagnan became more and mote astonished. 

20 — 2 


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11 1 wished to explain this plan to you on the day you received my first 
invitation ; but you did not come. Fortunately nothing is lost by this 
delay, and you are now about to hear it. Sit down, there, before me, 
M. D'Artagnan ; you are quite gentleman enou \ not to listen standing.* 

And the cardinal pointed with his finger to a chair for the young man. 
who was so astonished at what was passing, that he awaited a second 
sign from his interlocutor before he obeyed. 

u You are brave, Monsieur D'Artagnan," continued his eminence ; 
"you are prudent, which is still better. I like men of head and heart. 
Don't be afraid," said he, smiling, " by men of heart, I mean men of 
courage ; but young as you are, and scarcely entering into the world, 
you have powerful enemies ; if you do not take great heed, they will 
destroy you !" 

"Alas ! monseigneur !" replied the young man, "very easily, no doubt ; 
for they are strong and well supported : whilst I am alone !" 

" Yes, that's very true ; but alone as you are, you have already done 
much, and will still do more, I don't doubt And yet you have need, I 
believe, to be guarded in the adventurous career you have undertaken ; 
for, if I mistake not, you came to Paris with the ambitious idea of making 
your fortune." 

" I am at the age of extravagant hopes, monseigneur," said D'Ar- 

" There are no extravagant hopes but for fools, monsieur, and you are 
a man of understanding. Now, what would you say to an ensigncy in 
my guards, and a company after the campaign ?" 

" Ah ! monseigneur !" 

u You accept it, do you not ?" 

u Monseigneur," replied D'Artagnan, with an embarrassed air. 

u What ! do you decline it ?" cried the cardinal, with astonishment 

u I am in his majesty's guards, monseigneur, and I have no reason to 
be dissatisfied." 

" But it appears to me that my guards are also his majesty's guards, 
and whoever serves in a French corps serves the king." 

" Monseigneur, your eminence has ill understood my words." 

" You want a pretext, do you not ? I comprehend. Well, you have 
this excuse. Advancement, the opening campaign, the opportunity 
which I offer you, so much for the world ; as regards yourself, safe pro- 
tection : for it is fit you should know, Monsieur D'Artagnan, that I have 
received heavy and serious complaints against you ; you do not conse- 
crate your days and nights to the king's service alone." 

D'Artagnan coloured. 

" In fact," said the cardinal, placing his hand upon a bundle of papers, 
" I have here a whole pile which concerns you. I know you to be a 
man of resolution, and your services, well directed, instead of leading 
you to ill, might be very advantageous to you. Come, reflect, and 

" Your goodness confounds me, monseigneur," replied D'Artagnan, 
w and I am conscious of a greatness of soul in your eminence that makes 


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me mean as an earth-worm ; but since monseigneur permits me to speak 
freely " 

D'Artagnan paused. 

"Yes— speak." 

u Then, I will presume to say, that all my friends are in the king's 
musketeers and guards, and, by an inconceivable fatality, all my enemies 
are in the service of your eminence ; I should, therefore, be ill received 
here and ill regarded there, if I accepted that which monseigneur offers 

" Do you happen to entertain the proud idea that I have not yet made 
you an offer equal to your merit ?" asked the cardinal, with a smile of 

" Monseigneur, your eminence is a hundred times too kind on my 
account, and, on the contrary, I think I have not proved my self worthy 
of your goodness. The siege of La Rochelle is about to be resumed, 
monseigneur ; I shall serve under the eye of your eminence, and if I 
have the good fortune to conduct myself at that siege in such a manner 
as to attract your attention — then I shall at least leave behind me some 
brilliant action to justify the protection with which you honour me. 
Everything is best in its time, monseigneur ; hereafter, perhaps, I shall 
have the right of giving myself : at present, I shall appear to sell my- 

" That is to say, you refuse to serve me, monsieur/' said the cardinal, 
with a tone of vexation, through which, however, might be seen a sort 
of esteem ; " remain free, then, and preserve your hatreds and your 

" Monseigneur " 

u Well ! well 1" said the cardinal, " I don't wish you any ill ; but you 
must be aware that it is quite trouble enough to defend and reward our 
friends ; we owe nothing to our enemies ; and let me give you a piece 
of advice : take good care of yourself, Monsieur D'Artagnan, for, from 
the moment I withdraw my hand from you, I would not give an obole 
for your life." 

" I will try to do so, monseigneur," replied the Gascon, with a noble 

" Remember at a later period, and at a certain moment, if any mis- 
chance should happen to you," said Richelieu, with earnestness, " that 
it was I who came to seek you, and that I did all in my power to prevent 
this misfortune befalling you." 

" I shall entertain, whatever may happen," said D'Artagnan, placing 
his hand upon his breast and bowing, " an eternal gratitude towards 
your eminence for that which you now do for me." 

" Well, let it be then, as you have said, Monsieur D'Artagnan ; we 
shall see each other again after the campaign : I will have my eye upon 
you, for I shall be there/' replied the cardinal, pointing with his finger 
to a magnificent suit of armour he was to wear, "and on our return, well 
-—we will settle our account !" 

* Ah ! monseigneur !" cried D'Artagnan, "spare me the weight pf 


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your anger ; remain neuter, monseigneur, if you find that I act as a 
gentleman ought to act." 

" Young man," said Richelieu, " if I am able to say to you again once 
more what I have said to you to-day, I promise you to do so." 

This last expression of Richelieu's conveyed a terrible doubt ; it 
alarmed D'Artagnan more than a menace would have done, for it was 
a warning. The cardinal, then, was seeking to preserve him from some 
misfortune which threatened him. He opened his mouth to reply, but, 
with a haughty gesture, the cardinal dismissed him. 

D'Artaghan went out, but at the door his heart almost failed him, 
and he felt inclined to return. But the noble and severe countenance 
of Athos crossed his mind : if he made the compact with the cardinal 
which he required, Athos would no more give him his hand, Athos 
would renounce him. 

It was this fear that restrained him, so powerful is the influence of 
a truly great character on all that surrounds it 

D'Artagnan descended by the staircase at which he had entered, and 
found Athos and the four musketeers waiting his appearance, and be- 
ginning to grow uneasy. With a word D'Artagnan reassured them, and 
Planchet ran to inform the other post that it was useless to keep guard 
longer, as his master had come out safe from the Palais-Cardinal. 

When they reached Athos* residence, Aramis and Porthos inquired 
eagerly the cause of this strange interview ; but D'Artagnan confined 
himself to telling them that M. de Richelieu had sent for him to 
propose to him to enter into his guards with the rank of ensign, and 
that he had refused. 

" And you were quite right," cried Aramis and Porthos, with one 

Athos fell into a profound reverie and answered nothing. But when 
they were alone, — 

" You have done that which you ought to have done, D'Artagnan," 
said Athos, — " but yet, perhaps, you have done wrong." 

D'Artagnan sighed deeply, for this voice responded to a secret voice 
of his soul, which told him that great misfortunes awaited him. 

The whole of the next day was spent in preparations for departure ; 
D'Artagnan went to take leave of M. de Treville. At that time it was 
believed that the separation of the musketeers and the guards would be 
but momentary, the king holding his parliament that very day, and pro- 
posing to set out the day after. M. de TreVille contented himself with 
asking D'Artagnan if he could do anything for him, but D'Artagnan 
answered that he was supplied with all he wanted. 

That night assembled all the comrades of the guards of M. des Essarts 
and the company of the musketeers of M. de TreVille, who had been 
accustomed to associate together. They were parting to meet again 
when it should please God, and if it should please God. The night, 
then, was a somewhat riotous one, as may he imagined ; in such cases 
extreme preoccupation being only to be combated by extreme care- 


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At the first sound of the morning trumpet the friends separated, the 
musketeers hastening to the hotel of M. de TreVille, the guards to that 
of M. des Essarts. Each of the captains then led his company to the 
Louvre, where the king passed them in review. 

The king was dull, and appeared ill, which took off a little from his 
usual lofty carriage. In fact, the evening before, a fever had seized him 
in the midst of the parliament, whilst he was holding his bed of justice. 
He had, not the less, decided upon setting out that same evening, and, 
in spite of the remonstrances that had been offered to him, he persisted 
in having the review, .hoping, by setting it at defiance, to conquer the 
disease v/hich began to lay hold of him. 

The review over, the guards set forward alone on their march, the 
musketeers waiting for the king, which allowed Porthos time to go and 
take a turn, in his superb equipment, in the Rue aux Ours. 

The procureuse saw him pass in his new uniform and upon his fine 
horse. She loved Porthos too dearly to allow him to part thus : she 
made him a sign to dismount and come to her. Porthos was magnificent, 
his spurs jingled, his cuirass glittered, his sword knocked proudly against 
his ample limbs. This time the clerks evinced no inclination to laugh, 
such a real ear-clipper did Porthos appear. 

The mur!:eteerwas introduced to M. Coquenard, whose little grey eye 
sparlded with anger at seeing his cousin all blazing new. Nevertheless, 
one thing afforded him inward consolation ; it was expected by every- 
body that the campaign would be a severe one : he whispered a hope to 
himself that this beloved relation might be killed in the course of it. 

Porthos paid his compliments to M. Coquenard, and bade him fare- 
well ; Monsieur Coquenard wished him all sorts of prosperities. As to 
Madame Coquenard, she could not restrain her tears, but no evil im- 
pressions were taken from her grief, as she was known to be very much 
attached to her relations, about whom she was constantly having serious 
disputes with her husband. 

But the real adieux were made in Madame Coquenard's chamber ; 
they were heartrending! 

As long as the procureuse could follow him with her eyes, she waved 
her handkerchief to him, leaning so Jar out of the window as to lead 

feople to believe she was about to precipitate herself after her musketeer, 
'orthos received all these attentions like a man accustomed to such 
demonstrations : only, on turning the corner of the street, he lifted his 
hat gracefully, and waved it to her as a sign of adieu. 

On his part, Aramis wrote a long letter. To whom ? Nobody knew. 
Kitty, who was to set out that evening for Tours, was waiting in the 
next chamber. 

Athos sipped the last bottle of his Spanish wine. 

In the meantime, D'Artagnan was defiling with his company. On 
arriving at the Faubourg St. Antoine, he turned round to look gaily at 
the Bastille ; but as it was the Bastille alone he looked at, he did not 
observe milady, who, mounted upon a light chestnut horse, pointed him 
out with her finger to two ill-looking men who came close up to the 


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ranks to take notice of him. To a look of interrogation which they made, 
milady replied by a sign that that was the person. Then, certain that 
there could be no mistake in the execution of her orders, she turned her 
horse and disappeared. 

The two men followed the company, and at leaving the Faubourg St. 
Antoine, mounted two horses properly equipped, which a servant out of 
livery was holding in expectation of their coming. 



The siege of La Rochelle was one of the great political events of the 
reijgn of Louis XIII., and one of the great military enterprises of the 
cardinal It is then interesting, and even necessary, that we should say 
a few words about it, particularly as many details of this siege are con- 
nected in too important a manner with the history we have undertaken 
to relate, to allow us to pass it over in silence. 

The political views of the cardinal, when he undertook this siege, 
were considerable. Let us expose them first, and then pass on to the 
private ones, which, perhaps, had not less influence upon his eminence 
than the former. 

Of the important cities given up by Henry IV. to the Huguenots as 
places of safety, there only remained La Rochelle. It became necessary, 
therefore, to destroy this last bulwark of Calvinism, a dangerous leaven, 
with which the ferments of civil revolt and foreign war were constantly 

Spaniards, English and Italian malcontents, adventurers of all nations, 
and soldiers of fortune of every or of no sect, flocked at the first sum- 
mons to the standards of the Protestants, and organised themselves like 
a vast association, whose branches diverged at leisure over all parts of 

La Rochelle, which had derived a new importance from the ruin of 
the other Calvinist cities, was then the focus of dissentious and ambitious 
views. Moreover, its port was the last port in the kingdom of France 
open to the English, and by closing it against England, our eternal 
enemy, the cardinal completed the work of Joan of Arc and the Duke 
de Guise. 

Thus Bassompierre, who was at once a Protestant and a Catholic— a 
Protestant by conviction and a Catholic as commander of the order of 
the Holy Ghost ; Bassompierre, who was a German by birth, and a 
Frenchman at heart ; in short, Bassompierre, who had a distinguished 
command at the siege of La Rochelle, said, on charging at the head of 
several other Protestant nobles like himself : 

" You will see, gentlemen, that we shall be fools enough to take La 

And BassQmpierre was right : the cannonade of the Isle of R6 presaged 


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to him the dragonnades of the CeVennes ; the taking of La Rochelle was 
the preface to the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. 

But, we have hinted, that by the side of these views of the levelling 
and simplifying minister, and which belong to history, the chronicler is 
forced to recognise the little aims of the lover and the jealous rival 

Richelieu, as every one knows, had been in love with the queen : was 
this love a simple political affair, or was it naturally one of those pro- 
found passions which Anne of Austria inspired in those who approached 
her ? That we are not able to say ; but, at all events, we have seen, by 
the anterior developments of this history, that Buckingham had had 
the advantage over him, and in two or three circumstances, particularly 
that of the diamond studs, had, thanks to the devotedness of the three 
musketeers, and the courage and conduct of D'Artagnan, cruelly mysti- 
fied him. 

It was, then, Richelieu's object, not only to get rid of an enemy of 
France, but to avenge himself of a rival ; but this vengeance ought to 
be great and striking, and worthy in every way of a man who held in 
his hand, as his weapon for combat, the forces of a whole kingdom. 

Richelieu knew that whilst combating England he was combating 
Buckingham— that when triumphing over England, he triumphed over 
Buckingham ; in short, that in humiliating England in the eyes of 
Europe, he humiliated Buckingham in the eyes of the queen. 

On his side, Buckingham, whilst pretending to maintain the honour 
of England, was moved by interests exactly similar to those of the car- 
dinal. Buckingham, also, was pursuing a private vengeance. Bucking- 
ham could not, under any pretence, be admitted into France as an 
ambassador : he wished to enter it as a conqueror. 

It resulted from this, that the veritable stake of this game, which two 
of the most powerful kingdoms played for the good pleasure of two men 
in love, was simply — a kind look from Anne of Austria. 

The first advantage had been gained by Buckingham. Arriving 
unexpectedly in sight of the Isle of Rd, with ninety vessels, and nearly 
twenty thousand men, he had surprised the Count de Toirac, who com- 
manded for the king in the isle ; he had, after a sanguinary conflict, 
effected his landing. 

Allow us to observe, in passing, that in this fight perished the Baron 
de Chantal ; that the Baron de Chantal left a little orphan girl of eigh- 
teen months old, and that this little girl was afterwards Madame de 

The Count de Toirac entered into the citadel St. Martin with his 
garrison, and threw a hundred men into a little fort, called the fort of 
La Pre-e. 

This event had hastened the resolutions of the cardinal ; and till the 
king and he could take the command of the siege of La Rochelle, which 
was determined on, he had sent Monsieur to direct the first operations, 
and had ordered all the troops he could dispose of to march towards the 
theatre of war It was of this detachment, sent as a vanguard, that our 
friend D'Arragnan formed a part. 


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The king, as we have said, was to follow as soon as his bed of justice 
had been held ; but on rising from his bed of justice on the 28th of 
June, he felt himself attacked by fever. He was, notwithstanding, 
anxious to set out ; but his illness becoming more serious, he was forced 
to stop at Villeroi. 

Now, whenever the king stopped, the musketeers stopped. It resulted 
that D'Artagnan, who was as yet purely and simply in the guards, found 
himself, for the time at least, separated from his good friends, Athos, 
Aramis, and Porthos. This separation, which was no more than an 
unpleasant circumstance, would have .certainly become a cause of serious 
uneasiness, if he had been able to guess by what unknown dangers he 
was surrounded. 

He, however, arrived without accident in the camp established before 
La Rochelle, on the 10th of the month of September of the year 1627. 

Everything was in the same state ; the Duke of Buckingham and his 
English, masters of the Isle of Re*, continued to besiege, but without 
success, the citadel of St. Martin and the fort of La Pre*e ; and hos- 
tilities with La Rochelle had commenced, two or three days before, 
about a fort which the Duke d'Angouleme had caused to be constructed 
near the city. 

The guards, under the command of M. des Essarts, took up their 
quarters at the Minimes ; but, as we know, D'Artagnan, preoccupied by 
the ambition of passing into the musketeers, had formed but few friend- 
ships among his comrades, and he felt himself isolated, and given up 
to his own reflections. 

His reflections were not very cheerful. From the time of his arrival 
in Paris, he had been mixed up with public affairs ; but his own private 
affairs had not made any great progress, as regarded either love or for- 
tune. As to love, the only woman he could have loved was Madame 
Bonacieux ; and Madame Bonacieux had disappeared, without his being 
able to discover what had become of her. With respect to fortune, he 
had made himself— he, humble as he was— an enemy of the cardinal, 
that is to say, of a man before whom trembled the greatest men of the 
kingdom, beginning with the king. 

That man had the power to crush him, and yet he had not done 
it. For a mind so perspicuous as that of D'Artagnan, this indulgence 
was a light by which he caught a glimpse of a better future. 

And then he had made himself another enemy ; not so much to be 
feared, he thought, but, nevertheless, he instinctively felt not to be 
despised : the enemy was milady. 

In exchange for all this, he had acquired the protection and goodwill 
of the queen ; but the favour of the queen was, at the present time, an 
additional cause of persecution ; and her protection, it was pretty well 
known, protected the objects of it very badly, — as instanced in Chalais 
and Madame Bonacieux. 

What he had clearly gained in all this was the diamond, worth five 
or six thousand livres, which he wore on his finger ; and even this dia- 
mond, supposing that D'Artagnan, in his projects of ambition, wished 


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to keep it, to make it some day a pledge for the gratitude of the queen, 
had not, in the meanwhile, since he could not part with it, more value 
than the stones he trod under his feet 

We say than the stones he trod under his feet, for D'Artagnan made 
these reflections whilst walking solitarily along a pretty little road which 
led from the camp to the village of Angoutin. Now, these reflections 
had led him further than he intended, and the day was beginning to 
decline, when, by the last ray of the setting sun, he thought he saw the 
barrel of a musket glitter from behind a hedge. 

D'Artagnan had a quick eye, and a prompt understanding. He 
naturally supposed that that musket had not come there of itself, and that 
he who bore it had not concealed himself behind a hedge with any 
friendly intentions. He determined, therefore, to direct his course as 
clear from it as he could, when, on the opposite side of the road, from 
behind a rock, he perceived the extremity of another musket-barrel. 

This was evidently an ambuscade. 

The young man cast a glance at the first musket, and saw, with a cer- 
tain degree of inquietude, that it was levelled in his direction ; but as 
soon as he perceived that the orifice of the barrel was motionless, he 
threw himself upon the ground : at the same instant the gun was fired, 
and he heard the whistling of a ball pass over his head. 

No time was to be lost. D'Artagnan sprang up with a bound, and 
at the same instant the ball from the other musket tore up the stones 
on the very place on the road where he had thrown himself with his 
face to the ground. 

D'Artagnan was not one of those uselessly brave men who seek a 
ridiculous death, in order that it may be said of them that they did not 
give way a single step ; besides, courage was out of the question here, 
— D'Artagnan had fallen into a premeditated ambuscade. 

"If there should be a third shot," said he, " I am a lost man.* 

He immediately, therefore, took to his heels, and ran towards the 
camp, with the swiftness of the young men of his country, so renowned 
for their agility ; but whatever might be his speed, the first that fired, 
having had time to reload, fired a second shot, and this time so well 
aimed, that it struck his hat, and carried it ten paces from him. 

As he, however, had no other hat, he picked up this as he ran, and 
arrived at his quarters, very pale and quite out of breath. He sat down 
without saying a word to anybody, and began to reflect. 

This event might have three causes : 

The first and the most natural was, that it might be an ambuscade 
of the Rochellais, who might not have been sorry to kill one of his 
majesty's guards ; iixthe-first place, because it would be an enemy the less, 
and that this enemy might have a well-furnished purse in his pocket. 

D'Artagnan took his hat, examined the hole made by the ball, and 
shook his head. The ball was not a musket-ball— it was an arquebuss- 
ball. The justness of the aim had first given him the idea that a par- 
ticular kind of weapon had been employed. This could not, then, be 
a military ambuscade, as the ball was not of the regular calibre. 


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This might be a kind remembrance of Monsieur le Cardinal. It may 
be observed that at the very moment when, thanks to the ray of the 
sun, he perceived the gun-barrel, he was thinking with astonishment on 
the forbearance of his eminence with respect to him. 

But D'Artagnan again shook his head. For people towards whom 
he had but to put forth his hand, his eminence had rarely recourse to 
such means. 

It might be a vengeance of milady's — that was the most probable ! 

He endeavoured in vain to remember the faces or dress of the assas- 
sins ; he had escaped so rapidly, that he had not had leisure to remark 

" Ah ! my poor friends !" murmured D'Artagnan ; " where are you ? 
How sadly I want you !" 

D'Artagnan passed a very restless night Three or four times he 
started up, imagining that a man was approaching his bed for the 
purpose of poniarding him. Nevertheless, day dawned without dark- 
ness having brought any accident 

But D'Artagnan justly suspected that that which was deferred was 
not lost 

D'Artagnan remained all day in his quarters, assigning as a reason 
to himself that the weather was bad. 

At nine o'clock next morning, the drums beat to arms. The Duke of 
Orleans visited the posts. The guards were under arms, and D'Artagnan 
took his place in the midst of his comrades. 

Monsieur passed along the front of the line ; then all the superior 
officers approached him to pay their compliments, M. des Essarts, 
captain of the guards, as well as the others. 

At the expiration of a minute or two, it appeared to D'Artagnan that 
M. des Essarts made him a sign to come to him ; he waited for a fresh 
gesture on the part of his superior, for fear he might be mistaken ; but 
this gesture being repeated, he left the ranks, and advanced to receive 
his orders. 

" Monsieur is about to ask for some men of good courage for a dan- 
gerous mission, but which will do honour to those who shall accomplish 
it, and I made you a sign in order that you might hold yourself in 

" Thanks ! captain !" replied D'Artagnan, who wished for nothing 
better than an opportunity for distinguishing himself under the eye of 
the lieutenant-general. 

In fact, the Rochellais had made a sortie during the night, and had 
retaken a bastion of which the royal army had gained possession two 
days before ; the matter was to ascertain, by reconnoitring, how the 
enemy guarded this bastion. 

At the end of a few minutes, Monsieur raised his voice, and said : 

" I want, for this mission, three or four volunteers, led by a man who 
can be depended upon." 

" As to the man to be depended upon, I have him under my hand, 
monseigneur," said M. des Essarts, pointing to D'Artagnan ; " and a? 


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to the four or five volunteers, monseigneur has but to make his inten- 
tions known, and the men will not be wanting." 

" Four men of good will who will risk being killed with me !" said 
D'Artagnan, raising his sword. 

Two of his comrades of the guards immediately sprang forward, and 
two other soldiers having joined them, the number was deemed suffi- 
cient ; D'Artagnan declined all others, being unwilling to injure the 
chance of honour of those who came forward first. 

It was not known whether, after the taking of the bastion, the Rochel- 
lais had evacuated it or left a garrison in it ; the object then was to 
examine the place near enough to ascertain the thing. 

D'Artagnan set out with his four companions, and followed the 
trench : the two guards marched abreast with him, and the two soldiers 
followed behind. 

They arrived thus, screened by the lining of the trench, till they came 
within a hundred paces of the bastion ! There, on turning round, 
D'Artagnan perceived that the two soldiers had disappeared. 

He thought that, beginning to be afraid, they had stayed behind. 

At the turning of the counterscarp they found themselves within 
about sixty paces of the bastion. They saw no one, and the bastion 
seemed abandoned. 

The three composing our forlorn hope were deliberating whether 
they should proceed any further, when all at once a circle of smoke 
enveloped the giant of stone, and a dozen balls came whistling round 
D'Artagnan and his companions. 

They knew all they wished to know ; the bastion was guarded. A 
longer stay in this dangerous spot would have been useless imprudence : 
D'Artagnan and his two companions turned their backs, and com- 
menced a retreat which looked very much like a flight. 

On arriving at the angle of the trench which was to serve them as a 
rampart, one of the guards fell ; a ball passed through his breast. The 
other, who was safe and sound, continued his way towards the camp. 

D'Artagnan was not willing to abandon his companion thus, and 
stooped down to raise him and assist him in regaining the lines ; but at 
this moment two shots were fired ; one ball hit the head of the already 
wounded guard, and the other was flattened against a rock, after having 
passed within two inches of D'Artagnan. 

The young man turned quickly round, for this attack could not come 
from the bastion, which was masked by the angle of the trench ; the 
idea of the two soldiers who had abandoned him occurred to his mind, 
and with them that of the assassins of two evenings before ; he resolved 
then, this time, to know what he had to trust to, and fell upon the body 
of his comrade as if he had been dead. 

He quickly saw two heads appear above an abandoned work, within 
thirty paces of him ; they were the heads of the two soldiers. D'Artagnan 
had not been deceived, these two men had only followed him for the 
purpose of assassinating him, hoping that the young man's death would 
be placed to the account of the enemy. 


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Only, as he might be wounded and might denounce their crime, they 
came up to him with the purpose of making sure of him ; fortunately, 
deceived by D'Artagnan's trick, they neglected to reload their guns. 

When they were within ten paces of him, D'Artagnan, who, in falling 
had taken care not to leave hold of his sword, sprang up close to them. 

The assassins comprehended that if they fled towards the camp with- 
out having killed their man, they should be accused by him ; therefore, 
their first idea was to pass over to the enemy. One of them took his 
gun by the barrel, and used it as he would a club ; he aimed a terrible 
blow at D'Artagnan, who avoided it by springing on one side ; but by 
this movement he left a passage free to the bandit, who darted oft 
towards the bastion. As the Roche llais who guarded the bastion were 
ignorant of the intentions of the man they saw coming towards them, 
they fired upon him, and he fell, struck by a ball, which broke his 

In the mean time, D'Artagnan had thrown himself upon the other 
soldier, attacking him with his sword ; the conflict was not long ; the 
wretch had nothing to defend himself with but his discharged arquc- 
buss; the sword of the guard slipped down the barrel of the now useless 
weapon, and passed through the thigh of the assassin, who fell. 

D'Artagnan immediately placed the point of his sword at his throat. 

" Oh, do not kill me !" cried the bandit " Pardon, pardon ! my 
officer ! and I will tell you all." 

"Is your secret of enough importance for me to spare your life for 
it ?" asked the young man, withholding his arm. 

44 Yes ! if you think existence worth anything to a man of twenty as 
you are, and who may hope for everything, being handsome and brave, 
as you are." 

" Wretch !" cried D'Artagnan, " speak, and speak quickly ! who 
employed you to assassinate me ?' 

"A woman whom I don't know ; but who is called milady." 

44 But if you don't know this woman, how do you know her name ?" 

u My comrade knows her, and called her so ; it was with him she 
agreed, and not with me ; he even has in his pocket a letter from that 
person, who attaches great importance to you, as I have heard him 

" But how did you become concerned in this villanous affair?" 

" He proposed to me to undertake it with him, and I agreed." 
• " And how much did she give you for this fine enterprise ?" ; 

" A hundred louis." 

" Well, come !" said the young man, laughing, " she thinks I am 
worth something ! A hundred louis ! Well, that was a temptation for; 
two miserable creatures like you ; so I understand you accepted it, and' 
I grant you my pardon ; but upon one condition I" 

44 What is that ?" said the soldier, uneasy at perceiving that all was 
not over. 

44 That you will go and fetch me the letter your comrade has in his 


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•' Why," cried the bandit, " that is only another way of killing me, 
how can I go and fetch that letter under the fire of the bastion ?" 

" You must, however, make up your mind to go and fetch it, or you 
shall die by my hand." 

" Pardon ! Monsieur, have pity on me ! In the name of that young 
lady you love, and whom you perhaps think is dead, but is not !" cried 
the bandit, throwing himself upon his knees, and leaning upon his 
hand, for he began to lose his strength with his blood. 

" And how do you know there is a young woman that I love, or that 
I thought that woman dead T asked D'Artagnan. 

" By that letter which my comrade had in his pocket." 

" You see, then," said D'Artagnan, " that I must have that letter ; so 
no more delay, no more hesitation ; or else, whatever may be my repug- 
nance to soiling my sword a second time with the blood of a wretch 
like you, I swear by the word of a gentleman " 

And at these words D'Artagnan made so menacing a gesture that 
the wounded man sprang up. 

" Stop, stop !" cried he, regaining strength from terror, " I will go— 
I will go !" 

D'Artagnan took the soldier's arquebuss, made him go on before him, 
and urged him towards his companion by pricking him behind with his 

It was a frightful thing to see this unfortunate being, leaving a long 
track of blood upon the ground he passed over, pale with approaching 
death, endeavouring to drag himself along without being seen, to the 
body of his accomplice, which lay at twenty paces from him. 

Terror was so strongly painted on his face, covered with a cold sweat, 
that D'Artagnan took pity on him, and casting upon him a look of con- 
tempt, — 

" Stop !" said he, " I will show you the difference between a man of 
true courage and such a base creature as you ; stay where you are, I 
will go myself." 

And, with a light step, an eye on the watch, observing the move- 
ments of the enemy, and taking advantage of the accidents of the 
ground, D'Artagnan succeeded in reaching the second soldier. 

There were two means of gaining his object ; to search him on the 
spot, or to carry him away, making a buckler of his body, and search- 
ing him in the trench. 

D'Artagnan preferred the second means, and lifted the assassin on to 
his shoulders at the moment the enemy fired. 

A slight shock, the dull noise of three balls which penetrated the 
flesh, a last cry, a convulsion of agony, proved to D'Artagnan that he 
who had endeavoured to assassinate him had saved his life. 

D'Artagnan regained the trench, and threw the body down by the 
wounded man, who was as pale as death. 

The search was instantly commenced ; a leather pocket-book, a purse, 
in which was evidently a part of the sum which the bandit had received, 
with a dice-box and dice, formed the heritage of the dead man. 


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He left the box and dice where he found them, threw the purse to the 
wounded man, and eagerly opened the pocket-book. 

Amongst some unimportant papers he found the following letter ; 
that which he had sought at the risk of his life : 

" Since you have lost sight of that woman, and she is now in safety in 
the convent, at which you should never have allowed her to arrive, try, 
at least, not to miss the man ; if you do, you know that my hand reaches 
far, and that you shall repay me very dearly the hundred louis you have 
had of me." 

No signature. Nevertheless it was plain the letter came from nrlady. 
He consequently kept it as a piece of evidence, and, being in safety 
behind the angle of the trench, he began to interrogate the wounded 
man. He confessed that he had undertaken, with his comrade, the 
same that was killed, to carry off a young woman, who was to leave 
Paris by the barrier of La Vilette ; but having stopped to drink at a 
cabaret, they had missed the carriage by ten minutes. 

"But what were you to have done with that woman?" asked 
D'Artagnan, with great agitation. 

" We were to have conveyed her to an hotel in the Place Royale," 
said the wounded man. 

" Yes ! yes !" murmured D'Artagnan ; " that's the place ; milady's 
own residence !" 

The young man tremblingly felt what a terrible thirst of vengeance 
urged this woman on to destroy him, as well as all who loved him, and 
how well she must be acquainted with the affairs of the court, since she 
had discovered everything. There could be no doubt she owed this 
information to the cardinal. 

But amidst all this he perceived, with a feeling of real joy, that the 
queen must have discovered the prison in which poor Madame Bona- 
cieux expiated her devotedness, and that she had freed her from that 
prison. And the letter he had received from the young woman, with 
her passing along the road of Chaillot like an apparition, were now 

From that time, also, as Athos had predicted, it became possible to 
find Madame Bonacieux, and a convent was not impregnable. 

This idea completely restored clemency to his heart. He turned to- 
wards the wounded man, who had watched with intense anxiety all the 
various expressions of his countenance, and holding out his arm to 
him, — 

" Come," said he, " I will not abandon you thus. Lean upon me, and 
let us return to the camp." 

•' Yes, M said the man, who could scarcely believe in such magnanimity, 
" but is not that to have me hanged ?" 

" You have my word," said he ; " for the second time I give you your 

The wounded man sank upon his knees, to again kiss the feet of his 


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preserver ; but D'Artagnan, who had no longer a motive for staying so 
near the enemy, cut short the evidences of his gratitude. 

The guard who had returned at the first discharge had announced 
the death of his four companions. They were therefore much asto- 
nished and delighted, in the regiment, when they saw the young man 
come back safe and sound. 

D'Artagnan explained the sword-wound of his companion by a sortie 
which he improvised. He described the death of the other soldier, 
and the perils they had encountered. This recital was for him the 
occasion of a veritable triumph. The whole army talked of this expe- 
dition for a day, and Monsieur paid him his compliments upon it Be- 
sides this, as every great action bears its own recompense with it, the 
great action of D'Artagnan had for result the restoration of the tran- 
quillity he had lost In fact, D'Artagnan believed that he might indulge 
in a little tranquillity, as of his two enemies, one was killed, and the 
other devoted to his interests. 

This tranquillity proved one thing, which was,